Off-shoring and the Invasion of the Computer Puppets



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I'm gonna chime in here about off shore tech support. Personally, I think it's kinda hogwash to have some (heavily underpaid) guy that you can barely understand answer calls from a pre-written dialogue because his own english is functioning at a gradeschooler's level. I can't remember the last time I phoned my ISP about a service outage to be read the usual monotonous 'please check all connections, reset modem/router, etc.' when I already told him that I've done it twice to check and that the service light on my DSL modem is still out. I usually have to harass them to be transferred to 2nd level (local) 4 or 5 times.

- mike_art03a
IT Technician
Gov't of Canada



I don't care about accents or the nationality of the techs - it's all
about competence. You can't take people off the street, give them a
couple hours worth of phone training, hand them a catalog of common
fixes, and call them tech support reps. "Customer service" would be a more accurate description.

With the big hardware vendors, you don't usually run into actual qualified technicians until you convince the poor tool who answers the phone to transfer you to  2nd-level support. Companies assume, and possibly they have a point, that 90% of the calls they get are from totally ignorant consumers with trivial questions that would be a waste of time for real techs.

Sadly, it makes perfect sense to hire low-paid underqualified types to weed out the silly calls.




Standard text responses (trade term for what you're referring to in that article) are just terrible for customer relations in general and *really* have no place in technical support.  Not trying to be a fanboy, but the way you guys write the "Ask the Doctor" column is very close to what *I* would want in an e-mail from any tech support.  I understand the purpose of those standardized responses; they are supposed to make it so that each customer gets the same experience every time.  The thing is, that's not the way it should be.  It's kind of like going out to eat (I promise this analogy will make sense).  If I get really good service and great food at a place 90% of the time, I'm going to keep coming back even if I get burned with bad food and bad service 10% of the time.  If there's another place that's just ho-hum 100% of the time, chances are I'll risk going to the first place rather than settling for the second.  Also, the standard texts give the customer the impression that the company doesn't trust its own techs to their own devices - a MAJOR turn-off there.



I'm Sorry but seeing as how I work on a "Service Desk" based in the US. I abhor the thought of losing my job to someone over seas claiming his name is Jeff.

 On the flip side I see why it is a tempting avenue for companies that want to save mega bucks on Tech support.

That in mind, I really wish large companies (of all makes and models) would take the time to listen to their "user groups" or "target audiences" when it comes to something like this. It seems too often that companies are more worried about making the Stock holder happy than the end customer. I see that as a catch 22 so to speak, in that it would stand to reason that if the EC is happy then the Stock Holder would be happy as a happy EC tells friends and creates more business. More Business makes Stock Holders Happy.

Am I just way off base.

 - Cadon Mado



Today Many companies are beginning to realize just how big
of an impact "off shoring" tech support has had. As far as Dell is
concerned, The Business level, or Premium Support as it is now called, is all
US based tech support that touts industry certified technicians that DO NOT use
scripts. In my opinion, if you can get it, definitely side with the Premium
Support group over the "offshore" option. Hopefully Dell, HP, and
other companies will begin bringing a more regionalized tech support model to the
table. It appears that Dell has already started that proces by opening up a few
more call centers in the US in lower cost regions, surprising those customers
who get the "normal" tech support rep.

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