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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Sunday December 29, 2002
10:46 AM

User Support

[ #9659 ]

I'm not really cut out for a career in user support. I've realised this whilst dealing with a large number of nms support emails this week.

Although I'm generally seen as the leader of the nms project, I have to confess that whilst I wrote the initial versions of most of the scripts, the majority of the real work was done by Jonathan Stowe and Nick Cleaton. They (in particular Nick) have also been taking on most of the support work, so it left a huge hole in the support team when Nick went on holiday for a month over Christmas.

A couple of the other team members have been helping out, but over the last few days I've been going thru a backlog of support emails trying to solve people's problems. It's a (largely) thankless task. Here's a good example.

We get an email with an attached jpeg. The email says that the user gets the attached error when using one of our scripts. The image is of a browser displaying a "Too late for -T" error message.

That's not a problem we have a FAQ page that includes a long discussion of that very issue. I send the URL back to the user.

The user replies with an email saying simply "I still don't understand". I ask him to explain what exactly he doesn't understand and he replies that he can't find the FAQ.

I've written back pointing out that there's a question 'I am getting the Error ' Too late for "-T" option', what can I do?' on that page and (for good measure) including the text of the answer in the email. We'll see if that makes it any easier for him to understand.

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  • > I'm not really cut out for a career in user support.

    That's okay, Dave. That describes about 95% of humanity, and about 99.8% of geeks. :-)

    That being said, I've met I think two guys that were superb in customer service, and even scarier, in direct telephone technical support. No matter how clueless/panicked/aggressive/whatever the customers were, these guys (who were sitting with me in the second tier tech support of Digital) were able to contact the customer back, soothe the customer (which is 3/4