Client tech support can be so frustrating

8 replies
I was on the phone last night with a guy that was downloading a zip file. He said he’d never unzipped a file before, and I said all you had to do to start was doubleclick the file.

When it downloaded I asked if he doubleclicked it and he was asking me about “save target as” instead. I told him that for future reference when someone says “doubleclick” it means clicking the LEFT mouse button twice, not using the right mouse button like he was doing. He said: “I always use the right mouse button.”

I won’t go further into more of the gory details of what I had to do to get this file unzipped and onto his hard drive where he could find it again, I think you can imagine.

I’m more just venting here – doesn’t this kind of stuff drive you nuts sometimes? Yes, I can make "how to do it" videos and put it on my site and refer people to the videos. Sometimes though I am caught by surprise - didn't know I'd ever need to teach someone what doubleclick is.
#client #frustrating #support #tech
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    Originally Posted by Matthew Shelton View Post

    I was on the phone last night with a guy that was downloading a zip file. He said he'd never unzipped a file before, and I said all you had to do to start was doubleclick the file.

    When it downloaded I asked if he doubleclicked it and he was asking me about "save target as" instead. I told him that for future reference when someone says "doubleclick" it means clicking the LEFT mouse button twice, not using the right mouse button like he was doing. He said: "I always use the right mouse button."

    I won't go further into more of the gory details of what I had to do to get this file unzipped and onto his hard drive where he could find it again, I think you can imagine.

    I'm more just venting here - doesn't this kind of stuff drive you nuts sometimes? Yes, I can make "how to do it" videos and put it on my site and refer people to the videos. Sometimes though I am caught by surprise - didn't know I'd ever need to teach someone what doubleclick is.
    Hopefully you're charging him enough to make it worth your time
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
      Originally Posted by Matt Lee View Post

      Hopefully you're charging him enough to make it worth your time
      Ha - for sure, Matt you've got the right idea! Actually he was my 'test subject' you might say about zip files since I knew he would throw these weird curveballs at me with his lack of knowledge - so I guess people like that are quite valuable in that way!
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by Matt Lee View Post

      Hopefully you're charging him enough to make it worth your time
      Even better charge him enough so you just do it for him. I'm a big believer in assuming people can't do it. Because in my experience they can't.

      Zip for example isn't used much anymore because of the fact everyone has broard band and many file formats are already compressed. So the average person really has never used them before.

      There is a reason Apple sells so much despite the fact their operating systems are less customizable. Power users want that but the rest of the people just want it to work.

      Hell an iPhone is easier to use than some microwaves.

      So the key is to do it for them and when you do need them to do something make it so easy that a toddler could do it. You want to follow the lesson of Apple. People just want it to work. Macs only have one mouse button for a reason and you just discovered it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

        Macs only have one mouse button for a reason and you just discovered it.
        LOL!! Man you got that right!

        The reason I've been wanting to use a zip file is that what I'm dealing with is an audiobook that is 19 files that have to stay in order in order to be used correctly. The only alternative I see is putting all 19 files on a web page with instructions to download each individually, but that can (and I'm sure will) lead to a lot of user error - skipping files, etc. Would love to hear some other ideas on how to do this.
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        This thread made me lose faith in humanity.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          This thread made me lose faith in humanity.
          WO! I know what you mean in a way.

          For me, I'm trying hard to give away something that I know is very good and I've put a huge amount of time into and people either don't know how to handle it or don't understand it, but I've overcome all the technical issues up to this point so I'm not going to stop right here at the goal line. As they say, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

          What people don't realize is that I am not the enemy, and on my end their lack of knowledge is not the enemy, it is just a simple fact.

          I'm realizing now that this is a big factor in the success of iTunes and Audible.com - they take away the technical barriers - join 'em or feel the pain.

          Just "offering" something is still marketing something, and when you market something you are going to learn a LOT one way or the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    Originally Posted by Matthew Shelton View Post

    I'm more just venting here - doesn't this kind of stuff drive you nuts sometimes? Yes, I can make "how to do it" videos and put it on my site and refer people to the videos. Sometimes though I am caught by surprise - didn't know I'd ever need to teach someone what doubleclick is.
    Many years ago, PC Magazine had a great article by one of their columnists about helping phone clients get something done using the command line interface (before Windows became popular.)

    It started with him saying TYPE the filename, you know, T-Y-P-E, and it got worse from there. It was really a funny, well written article because that is exactly what all of us went through at the time.

    And actually still have to do sometimes when troubleshooting.

    Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      Many years ago, PC Magazine had a great article by one of their columnists about helping phone clients get something done using the command line interface (before Windows became popular.)

      It started with him saying TYPE the filename, you know, T-Y-P-E, and it got worse from there. It was really a funny, well written article because that is exactly what all of us went through at the time.

      And actually still have to do sometimes when troubleshooting.

      Marvin
      Sounds like it was a funny article, and I can certainly relate to it too!
      The thing is, I'm not wanting to sound elitist (and I'm not saying you are) because certainly I'm constantly running up against technical things I don't know - and that's one of the major benefits of the wonderful help in this forum.
      I've got a big list of things to learn that I know I look like a total noob asking in certain places, things like the css code needed to customize something in wordpress - you get the picture.

      The funny thing about the, let's call them 'what's doubleclick?' clients is that in general they are older folks, but they are our clients because they have the money to be our clients. Younger tech-savvy generations don't need these questions answered and probably figure they can do all this stuff themselves
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