Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can you tell me where the FAQ for me is?

Recently I was disappointed with a customer’s service department of a website for there inadequate options on the frequently asked questions so I wrote them a letter. I have included it below for your reference.

Dear [Name removed to protect the innocent]

I would like to say that I have no problems whatsoever but I’m a little unsure, Can you tell me if there is a frequently asked questions section for those who may have forgotten the questions they wanted to ask when logging into your site. I feel that this is a common occurrence but something that has been neglected by your administration there.

This should cover all the available options that could be on someone’s mind when logging into the computer, should it be simple like ‘Does [said website] know the meaning of Life” (Yes but we’re not saying) to the complex “Can you tell me if my computer is on” (Yes but we’re not saying).

I think that until this has been implemented that the frequently asked questions is severely incomplete.

Mister Fine

So this brings me to my point. Does customer service really serve a customer or is it now too much of a buffering tool to make hardworking absentminded people such as myself forget the thoughts they have before they actually want to ask the specific question. Understand?

But even with current frequently asked question sections I personally wonder why I have to answer questions correctly for the help section to know what I want help with. Can’t it intuitively interpret my answers that I’m thinking about fruit and colours to know that I want to look into Volkswagen Beetles with fluffy polyester interiors? Why does it require such specific information without a random assumption that I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. Considering the impression most IT professionals have of technical questions it might not be the best thing to assume.

So my solution to such an issue is to have a government funded body just for getting people working with Frequently Asked Questions and other such Customer Service tools. Maybe call them the Department of Infrastructure for Persons Seething with Technical Issues on Computer Keyboards (DIPSTICK). If we can’t throw some money at some public servants to help us out, what hope is there really to go on in this world.

Still, I should get back to my point on this blog. It had it before, I remembered it halfway through but now it’s gone again.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here's to the non-recession.

Thanks to the efforts of numerous politicians on both sides of the fence, millions of consumerist instincts (similar to communist instincts only that the colour red has to surround the word sale) and a healthy dose of what the hell just happened; Australia is apparently not going into a recession.

So I feel a whole lot safer personally to know that all those real estate agents who had gone into hiding after inflating house pricing to insurmountable levels are now crawling out from there rocks to bask in the sun with lawyers, reporters and bloggers.

But if you are just looking at the crisp freshness of a brand new contract I recommend you start working on your plans for the economic meltdown. Considering the last major three world slowdowns happened every ten or so years it might be an idea to get ready for the next one(as well as the next 3 epidemics) by laying the ground-work now for a safety net to ensure you retain your job is such complicated times. Here are a few hints to start off.

Whatever your job may be, it has to be a needed and almost exclusive profession. Encourage everyone to use your role where you can but tell everyone it’s a highly dangerous and disgusting job, especially children and teenagers who, in a decade’s time, could possibly land your role for half your wage and twice your quality. Try to break all hopes they have of working in the industry by showing them an image of your office as it will break all false illusions of hope.

The other part is that your industry needs to be kept buoyant in the times of economic downturn. Even if your industry is as niche as a knitted assault rifle cosy for the over 60 year olds it is better to ensure that there is a market and that the market is in dire needs of your product or services. Should you have to illicitly vandalise a few of these products the demand will stay high enough for the demand to outstrip production.

At all times it is good to have a backup job or market in case you are a little too worried. If you’re a manufacturer of a products look for a good second market to drop these items in too as a backup, maybe one that could be seen as being less savoury on first inspection. If you happen to be producing a inflatable pool toys, simply re-box them as military grade pontoons and sell them to Aussie disposals stores. If you happen to be a data entry clerk at a multinational corporation insert your name into another’s teams roll call the instant the word downsizing starts flapping overhead. That way should one or the other team be dropped you’ll get both the redundancy payout and the assurance of your job.

But I’ll stay happy where I am with this recession or lack thereof. I’ve made a nice bunker in the supply room, I have a chain holding me to the desk here and if anyone wants to get me out of my job here, you’re going to have to use a crowbar and an oxy cutter.