Speaking G(r)eekWritten on November 1, 2013 by Richard Millard
The only thing I hate more than actually being an idiot is being treated like one.
No one likes to feel dumb, and never am I more outside of my element than when I bring my car to the mechanic. He inevitably tells me that my flux capacitor is broken and that I'm low on headlight fluid, and I sheepishly reply something like “Yeah, that's what I suspected” while I empty my life's savings to cover the repairs.
On the flip side, there's those (rare) situations where I know something about the matter at hand, it drives me nuts when someone doesn't respect that. The happens every time I have to call Comcast about some sort of problem with their network. Trust me, I have to be pretty far down the troubleshooting tree to be desperate enough to call Comcast Tech Support, so it's always going to feel like a big waste of time when the Comcast tech insists that I restart my modem despite my assurances that I've already done that multiple times.
So here you have one of the biggest challenges of customer service: speaking their language.
A large number of our customers are tech-savvy, and know a lot about computers. Many of them used to build their own systems, but just don't have time for that anymore. They're coming to us because our configuration pages give them a level of control and customization that the can't get from the big box manufacturers, and because they trust us to build the system with the same attention to detail that they'd use. We would be doing them a disservice if we didn't respect their competence, brand loyalties, configuration preferences, etc.
Other customers are buying from us because of our high level of service and support. Many have had bad experiences elsewhere and are looking for a company who will slow down, answer their questions, and give them as much time as they need. These customers might know all about their specific applications and needs, but might not have a deep background in computer hardware. Some might not know what memory frequency is, and some might not care.
I've seen it happen a hundred times. I'll be having a great conversation with a customer about computer needs, what the computer is currently used for, and what it might be used for in the future – but as soon as I ask something like “What type of wireless network compatibility do you need this laptop to support?”, everything screeches to a halt. I might as well be speaking Greek.
Customer experience is the #1 focus here at Puget Systems, and we understand that communication is king. Every staff meeting devotes time to talk about customer satisfaction, feedback, and areas of improvement. We're constantly working to develop tools and methods to improve the way that we communicate with our customers, and make sure that we're delivering to them the customer experience that they're looking for.
That starts with getting an understanding about you, the customer. If you call up with a few questions about configuring a computer, don't be surprised if the consultant chats you up a bit. It's not that we're not eager to get to the important stuff, but rather that we consider understanding you to be the important stuff. Understanding your background in computers and what you use them for isn't just about configuring the right system – it's about respecting your tech background, and making sure that we're communicating on the same level.
Don't be afraid to share your background with us. Maybe you used to work for IBM, or maybe you have trouble setting the clock on your microwave. Either way, if you share that information with your consultant or technician I guarantee the dialog will be better for it. If you're in a hurry and don't have time to share your life's story, that's fine too. In either case, I promise that we won't try and sell you a flux capacitor.