The title of an article should be catchy and hint at its contents. So, over time a user support specialist might collect questions to the users. One of them looks like this: "Why are you doing my job?" — but it is a rather rhetorical question.
Actually, it's quite obvious why people don't contact support and instead try to solve issues themselves. In this article, I'll show you types of people who don't contact support and explain the reasons behind that. After you read this article, please, think about the customer support in services that you use every day.
First, I'm going to tell you about the user support system in the company I work at. Our company — PVS-Studio — develops a static analyzer for C, C++, C#, and Java code. Our support team receives requests both from new users and from our customers. I help new users solve their issues. I also make sure that they successfully evaluated the analyzer and had positive experience with our tool. Moreover, I keep in touch with our long-term customers so that our cooperation remains comfortable and the analysis goes smoothly.
If our users and long-term customers encounter some technical issues, I hand over these issues to our developers. They help solve it directly, which I believe is the advantage of PVS-Studio.
I think it is an important part of our company's activity — support like this not only gives a quick solution, but also gains trust among our customers. We openly tell in our articles how the analyzer developers help solve issues, study feedback, enhance the tool through direct communication with the user. For example:
If you are curious about our tool, then you can study it here in more detail. I am quite curious about the user support systems in other companies as well. This information allows us grow in this direction and help the company develop. So, share your stories about support in the comments :).
Now let's go to the main part of the article where I'll tell you about why people don't contact support and what are the common types of those people. These types are based on my experience as a support specialist in different companies as well as a user of various services.
Users are mature people and they can (and will) deal with their issues themselves. They don't need to resort to complex and redundant actions and delay the solution.
Of course, it's cool when a user can solve everything on their own (we'll talk about it later). However, there are situations when they can't do it. Now I am referring to the second case.
Often the reason for such independance is the desire to be the smartest, the strongest, the best. And if this type of users is so cool, why do they need help at all?
I think people want to show everyone that they've got everything under control and they don't need help. But we will not delve into psychology here, you can identify the real reasons behind the desire to be better yourself.
The "Independent" type = I want to be the best, I am the best. And this is not bad — this motivates you to grow.
This type is completely opposite to the previous one. There is a devaluation of what is important to the user. They think that their requests are not worth attention because they are simple. So, users will try to solve everything on their own.
People don't want to seem stupid. They are concerned that the error or issue they've encountered is so small and silly that they might be mocked for that. No one wants to be mocked because of an error.
As a result, the person doesn't contact support, and thinks as follows: "I'll do it myself" — "I can't do it myself" — "I don't want to do it" — "I forgot to do it".
We need to understand here: is this issue really that simple? Or does a person just devalues it? Ask yourself: "Is it a difficult one or can I handle this myself?"
Anyway, you can contact support since it is our job to understand and solve any issue as quickly as possible. If everything was so simple and it was possible to deal with it on your own, then there would be no support specialists. Don't be afraid of your questions!
The "Shy" type = I don't understand how important this issue is.
This user type ignores the issue because they think it's not that important. In this case, the user drastically devalues their problem — they assume that it will not affect the performance of the service / program, the user's comfort, and the user themselves. Thus, the problem can be ignored, and there's no reason to contact support.
Could the issue be silly? Yes. But it can also be very serious and show itself much later, when the solution becomes labor-intensive and the issue directly affects the service and user experience.
What do you think, is it better to do nothing, or should the user report an issue? Here everyone decides for themselves whether they want to prioritize the issue at the moment or not. What would you do?
The "indifferent" type = I don't want to waste my time on that.
This type of people usually says: "I don't want to search for contacts myself, I don't want to contact support myself, I don't want to tell what happened myself. That's your job, you do it".
They're both right and wrong at the same time. In this case, users think that it's the support's job to help them. Indeed, it is our job. However, the support service also needs help from users: to tell everything about the issue, to answer our questions, and to check whether everything works after the fix. Both sides should participate in solving an issue because both need the result. Users need this issue to be fixed so they can use the service comfortably; the support service needs to help users so the product would fit their needs. So, in conclusion: not only you need support, but support needs you.
The "Lazy" type = solve the issue for me.
There's an initial belief that the support won't solve the issue or won't want to do it at all. So, what's the point in contacting them?
The "They won't help me" position actually hides another one — "My own experience (or someone else's) tells me that even specialists can't help here". Such stereotypes are based on bad experience of users who once contacted support, but instead of an answer got negative feedback. I think everyone has a story about support not being able to help them.
Anyway, I think such stereotypes should be discarded. You need to solve the issue, right? Otherwise, soon such stereotypes will kill any desire to communicate with other companies. That is, the issue will remain unresolved and you won't be able to use programs/services at all.
The "convinced" type = I don't believe that support can solve the issue.
This type is concerned about product enhancements. A user comes up with an idea and they want to share it with a company via support. They believe they can enhance their own (or someone else's) user experience.
But then users think: "they don't need this", "they know everything already", or "only I like it". This can be logical and illogical at the same time. But in any case, whether you think it's right to share ideas or not, it's definitely worth contacting support.
In the case of PVS-Studio, replies to such requests may be as follows:
I think It's important not only thank the users for ideas or criticism, but to explain why we are not going to use it. That way users understand more about the work of the support services. After that, they won't think: "They have given up on my idea and are only pretending to thank me," they'll think: "They are saying objective things about why the idea does not fit, I understand that." Whoosh. No negativity, we understand each other, everything's perfect.
The "abandoned" type = why should I teach them how to work?
I must note that there can be more types than these. In this article, I mentioned the most common ones.
Actually, these are not exactly reasons, but tips on what to do before contacting support. There are situations when contacting support is either unnecessary or increases the time to resolve the issue.
This is opposite to the first type from the previous chapter. Here we're talking about the scenario where it's clear what you can fix and what you cannot. If you can fix everything yourself, then it's better to do so. However, if you have to think a lot and redo solutions, then remember the first type from the previous chapter — sometimes the best solution is to hand over the issue to a support specialist.
Don't contact support if you know how to fix it. Contact support if the issue is difficult and you can't handle it yourself. Also, do not forget to share the issues you solved, because this will help enhance the product that you like.
That's my favorite one. Any service has FAQ, documentation, etc., where you can find the information about using the product as well as find solutions for the most common issues. You just need a bit more research.
It's not bad when people ask frequent questions. Some people may have a non-standard situation and FAQ may not have answers for that. We answer any questions in the PVS-Studio support. It is our job.
So, study the documentation if you have a similarity with one of the types described above. This is also helpful for those who do not like to communicate with people often.
Please, study documentation and FAQ first. If you have done that and you still don't have an answer — it's time to contact support. Well, you can contact specialists without studying anything. This option still exists.
This option also exists because we are human beings and we experience emotions: positive, negative. If something in the service / application has stopped working, the user gets angry because this situation ruins plans. These "joys" encourage a person to tell support everything they think about it, and perhaps not the most pleasant things.
I do not recommend it! After all, you can later regret what you said or wrote on emotions. Besides, you can regret it if companies filter and ban aggressive messages — even if the person was just too emotional.
In such cases, wait, calm down and give structured information about what happened. There will be less chaos, and issues will be solved faster. Definitely!
I think we all understand why we don't want to contact support and instead work hard to solve the issue. Basically, there are many stereotypes about support, sometimes they're combined with additional reasons. In my article, one reason complements another, and types of people simply follow each other along the text.
There are many opinions about support. That we are not interested in your questions and issues, and we help only because we are paid for it. That support is laughing at users because they ask stupid questions. That users are unimportant, only the money of these users is important.
There is always a "BUT". And now this "but" sounds like this: "But I just can not be afraid of support and rationally think about what I really need."
I hope you get it now: you should not be afraid to write to support specialists and you do not need to rely on bad experience in solving issues. We will always help you and answer all your questions. Don't be afraid to write to us about your issues.
This is my first article about support and hopefully not the last. It was a pleasure to share my opinion with you.
Good communication to you all!
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