Is It Fixed Yet? — Managing Customer Expectations for Technical Support


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“Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?”

Do kids still say that? I sometimes think the adult version of that old anthem is “Is it fixed yet?”

Pretend I’m your customer. To keep from hearing “Is it fixed yet?” or some variation of that question, the best suggestion I have is to set my expectations early and then  keep me informed. Let me know what you can do, what you need from me, and a time frame for what I can expect next. It doesn’t have to be too exact, a range is fine. “I’ll call you back with an update in  30 minutes to an hour depending on what we find, OK?” It’s really helpful to have a time frame for planning purposes. (After all I do have a life!)

Oh, and if the resolution is going to take more than one contact, be prepared to manage the customer’s expectations over the course of the fix. So, for example, if you’re onsite for a day, it’s good customer service to let your customer  know mid-day what you’ve accomplished and update the time-line as appropriate. If the contact is by phone and e-mail, be sure to call or send an e-mail periodically updating your progress.

Essentially the idea is to be proactive about keeping me (the customer) informed — even if it isn’t good news. It doesn’t mean you have to dump gloom and doom on me.”I don’t have the parts I need. I’m probably not going to be able to finish up today.”  Keep your language positive and say something like, “Here’s what I’ve found so far. The failure was in the motherblasterkabob. I’ve ordered the necessary part and it should be here before the end of business today. Depending on when it gets here I’ll need about three more hours to install and test the unit before turning the system back over to you. Will that work for you?” I may not be 100% happy that there’s a delay but the knowledge gives me facts to work and greater confidence in the our partnership to get the problem resolved and business back to normal.

How important do you see setting expectations is technical support and field service?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Monica Postell
Customer Satisfaction Expert @ Impact Learning Systems | Instructional Designer | Performance Improvement Specialist | Call Center Consultant | Artist | Global citizen and world traveler making the world a better place once class at a time.


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