Ever had a tech support call eat the heart of your day? It can be agony, and yet we are so dependent on technology, it is vital that it function well. Below are some ideas that can make those calls faster and easier.
Have a Tech Support notebook–just a spiral notebook (6″ x 9″ perhaps) kept for ONLY that purpose. Label it Tech Support, and inside the back cover put:
- frequently called support numbers
- serial numbers
- customer ID’s
- your computer specs (operating system [Windows XP, etc.] processor speed, RAM, etc.)
Keep it near your computer. Put a binder clip (the large black or silver ones that can hold many pages) over the used pages so you can easily find the place for your next entry, while keeping a record of your previous calls.
Whenever possible, put off the call until mid-to-late week (Friday is usually best). Do it when it is convenient for you, and doesn’t interfere with your Prime Focus Time and high priority tasks.
If it is urgent (vital systems not functioning, stopping your work, with no other options) and the call must be made right away, choose the time when you are least likely to be interrupted (stop laughing!).
Consider premium/contract support plans. These services put you ahead of non- contract callers. Consider the value of your time. Computers, PDA’s, Smartphones, and contact management software are all critical elements of my business, and I find premium support worth the cost to save time and stress.
Sometimes the initial setup free support (90-days for example) is enough if you call during off-peak times.
Use a speakerphone or headset so you can work on other things if you are on hold. Hands-free also makes it easier to do the things tech supports requires as well as make your notes.
Have your Tech Support notebook and pen at hand. Write the date, time and problem at the beginning of each call, as well as the name (and sometimes employee number) of the support person. Record the time you finish the call, as well as the case number in case follow-up is needed. Include notes on the resolution of the problem.
If you are going to be transferred to another department, ask for the number of the direct line, in case the call gets cut off.
Make friends with a computer guru (they’re not geeks to me!). Pay them for major jobs, and they will likely be willing to answer questions or walk you through minor things in between times. It’s valuable to have someone who knows your particular system, and can save you from needing to call tech support!
Finally, be prepared to spend to upgrade your systems. If the Old is working well or can be fixed, great. You may want to wait awhile before you get the New until many of the “bugs” are out (let others spend their time on tech support), and you may want to get other users’ input. With old systems, there is usually a point of diminishing returns, so you need to consider what your time, sanity and peace of mind are worth.
Technology greatly enhances life — if you avoid getting bogged down in Tech Support!
You have just enhanced your quality of Life!
Nancy Hagan, Effective Executive LLC, works with business leaders who want to be more effective and productive, and focus on their highest priorities. Please contact Nancy at Nancy@EffectiveExec.com or (513) 899-9949. For information about workshops and other services, visit www.EffectiveExec.com