An idea put forth by  Scott Hanselman, fizzbin is a tech support secret handshake. Basically a commonly agreed upon word that once spoken will make the person on the other end of the line stop reading the tech support script and send you to someone who knows their stuff.

I’ve worked in technical support for 7 years on the front lines. There are reasons for the script, basically most problems are able to be fixed with one set of very simple solutions. Turn it off and on again, did you reboot, is it plugged in. Sad thing is most people overlook these simple solutions because they are either untrained, uncaring or in a rush. usually some convoluted example of all three.

Service providers have taken these simple suggestions to the next level and installed a level of tech support that offers  neither  support nor technical  knowledge. These unlucky people have to answer phone calls all day long and slog through a script, in painstaking detail, no matter what the other person says. As users remember, these people’s jobs depend on sticking to the script, and following  rigid  company protocol.

I’m lucky to work in an environment that allows for a bit of free form support. The tessereract of Tech support. We go from problem to solution as quickly as possible because there are tons of other people who need help too.

It is very easy to fall into the trap, “All Users Are Stupid.” It is even more easy to fall into the trap “Tech Support is Stupid” How about we just listen to the problem, and the response from now on. Secret handshakes are awesome and all but if yu hire qualified people to answer the questions and the people calling in don’t mind a bit extra explanation on what went wrong things go smoother.

For 7 years now I’ve been working under the assumption that anyone can be taught anything, as long as they are willing. With each problem I face, I really do try to inform and educate the other people on what went wrong, and how to stop it from happening again.

Yes I get frustrated when people throw the Nike  “just do it” down. I’m only human and I have brushed people off at times when I misjudged their problem as something simple. But every single time the problem has been communication. How are you at communicating your needs and problems to support / customers?

I think we can all do a bit better, until then Fizzbin it is…

FizzBin – The Technical Support Secret Handshake – Scott Hanselman.