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The 5 Golden Rules of Tech

I believe there are some important rules that all computer professionals must follow regardless of the specific area of expertise. I’m going to call these “The 5 Golden Rules of Tech” and see what you think of this, but it’s my daily creed. I’d like to get some feedback on these whether you are a tech or a user who has had experience with tech support of any kind. If you’ve ever dealt with a tech who didn’t follow these rules, you probably are in the majority. Have I missed any major points on these golden rules?

  1. Always show respect for the person you are supporting (user) and never make them feel stupid for not having your level of expertise. I’ve seen many techs make fun of users and it’s not pretty. It’s the same thing as that bully that used to do it to you in school because you were a nerd. Not cool.
  2. Never be too proud to call technical support for assistance with a product you aren’t totally familiar with or even one you think you know. This humility will pay off when you get the job done more quickly than the next guy because he was afraid to admit he needed some help.
  3. Find out what the real problem is. You can fix the problem you’ve been asked to fix, but if that’s not the underlying issue, it will happen again. Also remember that because of not having your level of experience, many folks won’t know what is really wrong and you never want to make them feel bad for this, but you may have to ask many questions the user thinks they already answered to get to the root of the problem.
  4. Make phone calls. For some reason, some folks don’t like to make phone calls. We’d rather send an email/text/chat, etc. but I believe that there is nothing more productive than a phone call for getting the exchange of information done quickly. It also adds the personal touch and can make for better relationships with users.
  5. Be productive by keeping email in its place. Check your email no more than once per hour and turn off notifications for email if at all possible. This keeps you more productive so that you can take better care of the backlog of stuff you already have to do. There are many other productivity tips I can recommend in a future post.

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