The Morning Adam™ hears a lot of stories about online marketers getting requests for help with computer hardware and software.
Since online marketers use computers to do their work, in the eyes of some that means they “know computers” and thus can answer any question or help with anything, including
- getting a desktop tower to recognize a DVD player
- configuring a dual-band router
- setting up a full-blown network
- opening an Excel spreadsheet
- finding the cheezburger the LOLCATs have been elusively questing for
- getting on the internet
- and more
Just as commonly, the questions are about how to program a remote control so the TV, DVD Player, Chromecast, home theater system, and more operate off one remote.
Gently Explaining The Difference Between A “Technician” And A “Marketer” Doesn’t Always Stop The Questions
Then, there’s this time-worn doozy: “you work from home, so there’s no reason you can’t take a few minutes to help me out.”
As if, client responsibilities, deliverables, webinars, podcasts, writing books, filming videos, and prepping for a big speaking engagement, etc. aren’t “reasons”.
This tends to happen a lot especially within that first year of running a business from home, until enough people get the point that what you do actually IS work and you ARE busy just like you would be in a cubicle in someone else’s office…
…in fact, busier now than you were then.
Explaining it over and over again might not stop the interruptions.
So, we have come up with
A Simple Script To Positively Answer Tech Support Questions – And Make Them Go Away
Here’s a scenario.
We recommend you use this sparingly and only when all forms of reason have failed to stop the tech support requests, of course.
But here goes:
PERSON A: Hey, my webcam doesn’t work. Not only that, but every time I turn on my computer I get this blue screen. Can you fix it?
MARKETER: You know what? Something like that did happen to me once.
PERSON A: So, can you fix it?
MARKETER: What kind of computer do you have?
PERSON A: (sigh) It’s a… hold on… ok here we go: It’s a Moribund Frankfurter XAB999 Deluxe Super Pro, with a… uh… 68-inch screen and, uh… three dual built-in speakers. Now can you fix this for me or not?
MARKETER: Yes, I can tell you how I fixed it. (then go silent as you VISIT the tech support WEBPAGE of the Moribund Frankfurter company that made the device they need help with)
PERSON A: (breaking the silence) ……Well?
MARKETER: Sorry, yes. I had to check something. This is so easy. I know exactly what to do. Got a pen and paper?
PERSON A: One second……ummm……okay, got it. Ready!
MARKETER: Here you go. Write down this number: [give them tech support’s number]. Just give them a call, they’ll know what to do. That’s tech support.
PERSON A: HEY! Not nice! You said you were going to fix it!
MARKETER: I said I had the blue screen of death once and my webcam stopped working. When those things happened to me, I called tech support and they walked me through it.
PERSON A: No. Just…no. You don’t get to do that. YOU SAID you’d FIX IT for me.
MARKETER: Not exactly.
PERSON A: Yes you did! I asked you nicely, but if this is what you’re —
MARKETER: Actually, I said I would tell you how I fixed it. When it happened to me, I called tech support and followed their instructions. I don’t remember what they said to do. Heck, I didn’t understand it then. I just did what they said, without asking questions. Before you know it, my computer booted up and my webcam worked again.
PERSON A: But —
MARKETER: As I’ve told you before, I don’t know diddly squat how this stuff works. I’m not a computer technician. Sorry! But I AM a copywriter who’s gonna get his ass fried if his client doesn’t see a draft by the end of the day, so I gotta get back to it.
PERSON A: Yeah, next time your stuff breaks, don’t call me!
MARKETER: No problem, the point of this whole conversation is, I’ll call tech support. Ciao!
Because Sometimes, The Empire Does Strike Back. BUT…
Save this script for situations where repeatedly explaining that you’re out of your depth with tech questions, and/or that the stuff you do on your laptop at home is ACTUAL WORK, just aren’t transmitting.
Use your judgment because, with some people (you know, clients) it helps to be a tad more helpful – though you can still tell them that their best bet is tech support because you taking the time to figure out the tech issues will mean your client deliverables will take longer and you will need to charge extra (they’ll respect that).
But you have to ruthlessly protect your time.
You know that thing about how billionaires have the same 24 hours as you do?
Billionaires aren’t taking the time to help people program the remote.
They’re having their assistant give out the tech support number.