"That’s What We’re Here For"

My main point here I think is “Tech Support should NOT be part of the normal process.”

I needed to register for an internal company tech support website (for teleconference support) and was trying to log in to the website. I have a card here with the following info:

  • Owner Name
  • Owner Number
  • Conference Code
  • Leader PIN

To log in to the website, it asks for “Owner Name” and “Password.” Since nothing I has says “Password” I tried the “Leader PIN.” Didn’t work. It says “If you are visiting here for the first time, click on forgot password.” The “forgot password” screen wouldn’t recognize me as a valid user, so it was time to call tech support.

Turns out, tech support had to give me a 4-digit “Web PIN” to be able to start the registration process. I went to another screen and created a “User Name” and “Password.”

I got kicked back to the main screen, the place that says “Owner Name” wants you to enter the “User Name” or it doesn’t work (these are two different things).

I said to the tech support rep, “You know, the website is very confusing. I’m good with computers and I couldn’t figure it out because things are labeled wrong on screen and it seems every new user has to make a tech support call, which costs us all money.”

The tech support rep was sort of irritated and said, “Well sir, that’s what we’re here for.”

I told her, “It shouldn’t be that way, I’m just trying to help, if you don’t want to do anything to fix the website, then fine.”

I can’t imagine the tech support rep passing any of this along because, in a way, the poorly designed and poorly implemented website is job security for her and her co-workers. Fewer tech support calls probably means somebody loses their job.

It’s too bad that organization can’t have everyone on the same team in a way that improves quality (and reduces cost) for the company and the customers. How many people tolerate a bad process out of self-interest and/or fear? Management’s job is to create an organization where people aren’t paralyzed by fear, where they aren’t punished for doing the right thing.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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2 Comments on ""That’s What We’re Here For""

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d say it’s not just fear or wariness, but also indifference and the idea that “there’s a department to take care of it” that results in the persistence of suc bad processes. I have seen an organisation crippled by poorly designed ERP processes, yet even those affected would not take the time to initiate the minor tweaks which would have resulted in a much more usable system.

  2. Karen Wilhelm says:

    It’s highly likely that the rep, or one of his/her coworkers tried on one or more occasions to get improvements made. Those recommendations get lost in the IT “prioritization” process and people eventually give up on making improvements.

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