Mike Schaffner's “Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms” blog linked to my complaining about the lack of root cause problem solving during a tech support call. I proposed that the tech support department didn't care about fixing the root causes because that ensured some job security.
That probably wasn't the response that would have ranked highest on the “respect for people” scale.
Mike insightfully writes:
I don't agree with Graban's assumption. All the Tech Support people that I've ever met at many different companies have all been very dedicated and truly interested in helping their callers. I have yet to see any Tech Support people that wanted to perpetuate the need for calls just to protect their jobs. If there was ever reluctance on the part of the Tech Support folks to get a problem resolved I believe that it was due to a sense of futility.
Early on they've no doubt tried to get a situation, such as the one Graban encountered, truly fixed only to be stymied by lack of resources, prioritization processes and a cumbersome bureaucracy. After trying that a few times they learned that it was futile to try to fix the problem so they do the best they can to repeatedly help users as the problem occurs again and again.
Mike is right. I didn't mean to blame the individual tech support worker for “not caring.” I'm sure it was frustrating for her to keep getting calls about the exact same systemic problem. I can understand her frustration in maybe trying to get it fixed, for real, the first time and then being “beaten down” into giving up.
I empathize with call center employees who are typically measured on strict quotas for call length or calls per hour metrics, metrics that don't allow them to do quality work the way they might otherwise want to.
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