The challenge of working with first level support representatives
When you do IT you have to work with first level support representatives often during your day. You call them because you need details that the manual doesn’t provide, or you want to know if something is supported. It can be a challenge but these are the ways I deal with it.
- Don’t believe what the first level representative says. I have found that as a rule the first level people will say anything to get you off the phone. For example, in one company I was told on the DL that they are upgrading the problem that I called about. Another rep said there were no upgrades planned for that problem. Now who should I believe?
- Call several times if you don’t get a good resolution. Too often the first level support doesn’t know critical things they should know. You can always get lucky and find someone with greater knowledge and experience by calling in multiple times.
- Ask to be transferred to a supervisor if possible. You can also deal with first level support by asking for a supervisor when repeated attempts don’t fix the problem. For example with T-Mobile I have called in several times because I had the same problem. Due to this, they are sending me a free signal booster when otherwise it might cost $200. I will write a post to see if it helps but I don’t expect it to make much difference.
- Be patient and try to first explain all the troubleshooting you have done. A large part of dealing with first level support is to understand they are following their company rules. If you can proactively share the troubleshooting you have done then often you can move to level 2. What also can happen is that you have to be very patient. Many first level support are new to IT and you can’t assume they understand things. So just be patient and kind and try to imagine how tough this situation could be for them.
You can be successful with low-skill people you just have to help them and respect them.
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