Tech Support: How to Draw the LineBy Deborah Rothberg | Posted 2006-05-09 Email Print
Is a difficult client ringing your phone off the hook? Try some advice from Slashdot readers on how to deal with users with excessive support demands.A poster on Ask Slashdot on May 8 requested advice on how to reduce or turn down requests for technical support requests, especially from users who aren't necessarily clients.
The resulting responses421 and countingresponses ranged from predictably snarky ("Implement a long-winded touch-tone system that doesn't work that's what works for my bank anyway") to some practical recommendations that could be enlisted by any IT professional overwhelmed by a client's demands.
"[Tell them] 'I can support you for two more weeks, and then that's it.' This is important. Tie the deadline to some milestone so that he won't push you to change it: 'I start my night classes in two weeks, so that's why I can't do this any more after two weeks.' (It is irrelevant whether this is the true reason; you just don't want the client to say, 'Aww, how 'bout 3 weeks? How 'bout 4?')" wrote a poster under the name KWTm.
"The only way to get rid of the support people was to start raising the rates so they would find someone else. I don't know what you charge now, but start upping it fast. Increments of 25 [percent are] a good way to wean people off stupid calls," loftwyr wrote.
"Give 'em some reasonable number of requests, and after that charge them $55-65 per incident," blackcoot wrote.
"You might try pointing them 'gently' toward other resources," wrote eonlabs.
Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Tech Support: How to Draw the Line