Still on the whack thing. It wasn’t quite enough (but it did help) that I spent the morning talking to a very nice tech support agent in India, using my best corporate voice, while wearing bunny slippers and sporting bed-hair.
Agent: Welcome to XYZ company technical support, you are speaking to Sandrita, how may I help you with our product today?
I’ve learned to say the problem and the outcome I want in the first volley. Almost always gets me to the person who can fix it. Usually a supervisor. I actively keep my tone of voice in “I know you can help me” mode.
Jane: Here’s my problem. The technical installation wasn’t performed properly yesterday, causing my client to lose an entire day’s work. It’s okay, we understand glitches happen. This is what I want: I would like you to send a technician over to my client to correct the mistake, review all operations related to the installation, and test the server in-house and remotely to ensure it is working well. I’m happy to speak to a supervisor if that’s where we need to start.
Sandrita: Yes. Thank you for telling us of your problem. We will be solving this within the hour, please do not worry. What, exactly, is the problem Ma’am? Do you mind if I am asking you this?
(okay, gotta simplify. I wiggle the bunny ears with my toes.)
Jane: No, I don’t mind at all. It doesn’t work.
Sandrita: I see, thank you for telling me this. Now, if I understand you correctly, you are saying it is not working? Please do not worry. We will be solving this within the hour.
I immediately like Sandrita. Her tone of voice is one of talking to a best friend who needs to be talked gently down off the ledge. Cheerful, confident, friendly and committed desire to help. I’m starting to enjoy this.
Jane: Nope. Not working. Not even a megabyte an hour. (Score one for Jane! Tech joke.)
Sandrita: (laughing) Ah! I see. The server has no connection, yes? Please do not worry, we will be having this solved within the hour.
Poor woman is trapped. Stuck on the phone with legions of angry people waiting in line, and a scripted promise she must make but has no ability to deliver. As a mom, I SO identify.
How do I help her? Do I answer “yes” I have no connection or “no” I have no connection? I make it simple.
Jane: There is no connection. It’s a hardware issue.
Sandrita: I know! This is what we will do. I will stay on the line and we will walk through re-installing the software together. Do not worry. We will be having this solved within the hour.
Jane: The software is fine, there is no….(what would get this across?)…traffic on the line you installed. No megabytes go out, no megabytes come in. (We both laugh again.)
Sandrita: Oh! I see. It is not working! It’s okay, I will help you…
I interrupt her cheerfully
Jane: …Wait! I won’t worry, because….(she laughs knowing where I’m going: we finish the sentence together)…we will be having this solved within the hour!
She is struggling not to lose it. I am choking. ACK, I don’t want her to get fired! I stifle myself and we giggle quietly. I think we made each other’s day.
I asked to speak to her supervisor when we were done. She guardedly came on the line, cold and defensive.
Supervisor: Yes, this is she. How may I help you?
Jane: I want to compliment you. The agent I just spoke with is excellent. She helped me resolve problems I did not know I had. I’d steal her from you in a heartbeat. Would you please note the compliment in her file for me?
Supervisor: (Joyful) Yes yes! I will be doing that for you! It is kind of you to take your time and tell me of this. We hope to please all our customers!
The situation did get resolved 5 hours later after I get a tech in the US to drive over to the location and fix it.
I hope that compliment was enough to help get Sandrita a raise on her next review. I have a warm fuzzy feeling for a woman in India I will never meet, or speak to again. She might not be a friend, but she was a little star in my universe, and definitely a friend in that moment.
The thing that got fixed on the phone? My whack went in, just a little, from sharing the humor in a ridiculous, but common, human dilemma. That it was with someone across the world from me made it even sweeter.