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Pitfalls of offshoring Tech Support

By CG IT ·
I read this article today by Christina Tynan-Wood on the problems with offshoring tech support by Adobe. [see full article here http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/beware-perils-offshore-tech-support-779]

one of the commentors to the article Uke had this to say:

uke
18-Mar-10 10:22am
"It is Adobe's goal to provide our customers with the highest-quality service and provide quick, effective assistance," this is such a PR statement. And it's not entirely true. Companies only want to provide as much support as they can get by with spending as little as possible. They don't want you to call, that costs too much. They want you to self-support. (The irony is that many support organizations make money for the company, but rarely is that money plowed back into the support org.) Was this solution captured for re-use? incorporated into whatever horrid scripts that these tech use? Will they add the question "does your OS support your sound card?" or whatever? Does Adobe support or staff forums that people can participate in? There's a huge difference b/t "low cost support" and "cheap support". Dell was the poster child for finding that out the hard way.

I think Uke made one of the most important points about tech support relating to the article of Tommy requesting "expert help" for his problem. To quote Uke:

"Was this solution captured for re-use? incorporated into whatever horrid scripts that these tech use? Will they add the question "does your OS support your sound card?" or whatever? Does Adobe support or staff forums that people can participate in? There's a huge difference b/t "low cost support" and "cheap support". Dell was the poster child for finding that out the hard way."

My opinion is, no Adobe won't incorporate the solution into the script or even on their Self Help FAQ because of the prevelence of such issues. It's not in the real of what 95% of users would call with issues therefore it's prevelence of being a recurring issue is quite low. Why add it in?

Offshoring tech support especially computer tech support, started with HP when they realized that 95% of their support calls were for a very small set of issues that were simple to fix. HP could then write out the fix on a piece of paper, then hire very low cost phone tech support. Offshore it and make a killing because they still had the costs of actual HP support personal built into the cost of products.

They could even reduce the prices of their equipment by reducing the built in cost of tech support to remain competitive and still make a killing.

But those who use their products with issues that are not in the 95% of calls which are simple fixes, won't obtain satisfactory tech support.

While customer support for products happens to be a big money pit, poor support can effect overalls sales. IBM as a company became what it was [but no longer is] from their product support. If it broke, IBM sent out their support people who knew how to fix the product. Buying a product support contract from them was well worth the investment because the support personnel fixed it so it wouldn't break down. Less calls = more profit.

Today, in the consumer market, if something breaks, it's so inexpensive, you toss it and buy another one. For those who don't, you get tech support from those who read off a piece of paper.

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