A few years back I got burnt out on doing Systems Admin work, and went to doing Technical Support.  I've worked for a number of companies in their support departments.  I've been lucky enough to work for companies and managers I've worked for have espoused a number of these principles.  Never all of them, but some of them.

When I worked at Mitel, I was talking to one of the other support guys, I'm pretty sure it was Richard Turner, and he was telling me a story about a really thorny problem he was trying to troubleshoot.  The product line support manager walked in, said "How are things going?"  "No good" says Richard, " I still don't know what's going on".

Half an hour later, the Support Manager walks in "How are things going?"  Same answer.  Half an hour after that, the Director walks in, and has the same conversation.  A little while later, the VP walks in, and has the same conversation.  At this point Richared is like "Why won't the bigwigs just leave me alone to work this?"  Anyone who's ever worked in support has thought this on numerous occasions.  A little while later, the CTO walks in, and has the same conversation.

About three hours into troubleshooting, Terry Matthews walks in and asks the tech how things are going, and gets the same answer.  He then asks "Would it help if you were on site?".   Richard  says "yes", then Terry says, "All right, be at the airport at 2:00"   Terry and Richard fly down to St. Louis on Terry's private jet, arrive in St. Louis and have the problem solved by 4pm, St. Louis time.

Seven steps to remarkable customer service - Joel on Software

Update:  Seth Godin has his own ideas here

Seth's Blog: Starting over with customer service


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22 February 2007