No Tech Support Required

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Nov 26

On the back of Money Magazine’s December, 2007, issue is a full back cover advertisement in one of the continuing series of “a diamond is forever.” Usually promoting diamonds through some emotional pull, this one shows beautiful diamonds with the simple caption: No Tech Support Required.

I’m in the tech business, so I chuckled at the reference to diamonds being something that doesn’t need after sale support. But then I thought about how we have become a “self-service” nation with countless horror stories about the support that we receive for our products and all of a sudden it sort of hits you: when a seller of all things diamonds can use “tech support” in a ubiquitous advertisement that pulls on your emotions, you should know that “tech support” has become, at best, an oxymoron.

In my mind, the ad is appealing for the following reasons:

  • The giving is simple. No unreadable manual, no connecting cords, and no post-giving work.
  • Simplicity. It is a single thing given to another. It’s not a box with packing materials and plastic that needs to be unwrapped, disposed of, and managed .
  • No post giving problems. Diamonds don’t break and need little maintenance. If the emotions are right, the product doesn’t fail.
  • No self-service. If your diamonds need work, you need to go to a jewelry store. No web sites to check, no knowledgebases to examine, no labyrinth to go through to get past the self-service to find the phone number, only to wade through the IVR prompts that have always been recently updated, to sit on hold to wait for a person who really doesn’t know what they are talking about past the script or the self help stuff you’ve already read so you wouldn’t have to put up with talking to a person in the end.

That tech support process is what enables diamond manufacturers to be able to take out a full page, back cover advertisement and pull an emotional appeal out of something that shouldn’t: No tech support required.

Do you want to see what you are doing to your customers? Try calling your help line and find out what your customers go through. And figure out how long it takes to even find the number for tech support.

It will make you want to buy diamonds.

  • I love this post! Sometimes we’re so busy thinking outside the box we forget to make sure that the rest of the box is even holding together. Everyone who runs a business should take this advice…TODAY!!
    Anita Bruzzese

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Given the literature (not the practice), I often think that there is more innovation, creativity, and inspiration going on then the needed blocking and tackling associated with the fundamental processes in business: support, customer service, inventory and financial management, basic IT infrastructure uptime, and others.

    There are some really great customer support companies out there that I’ve been priviledged to work with in my career. But it’s tougher and tougher to find them.

  • […] people whine about service; I make commentary of what is really a bad situation for consumers as well. So when I get really great service, I love to shout it from my particular mountain […]

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