Why Tech Support People Don't Have People Skills

from the such-is-life dept

An article looking at why tech support people have terrible people skills. The article points out they’re mostly hired for their technical skills (though, I question even that one…), and the people skills side of the equation is mostly ignored. Of course, I imagine that any time you deal with the same moronic problems every hour of every day, you’d start to sound condescending also…

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Why Tech Support People Don't Have People Skills”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
TheCaptain says:

"lusers" and computer licenses

Interesting article. Having been on both sides of the tech support issue (having had to both USE tech support and WORKED in a tech support department) I can totally agree that 1) People skills are NOT the focus of the hiring strategy and that 2) They are desperately needed.

I DO however take exception to the tone and one-sided aspect of the article. In my time at tech support, I never called all end-users “lusers” nor was I patronizing to any of them…at first.

I *DO* believe some people are too stupid to own a computer…however, these people I feel are pretty much too stupid for anything else too and I wonder how they function in normal society to begin with. These are the people who DON’T want to learn, DON’T want to be helped…they just want someone to swear at and vent their frustrations to..which is NOT in the job description…I’d never agree to work as a “punching bag” for minimum wage and I don’t see why anyone else should. I can understand anger and frustration when the call happens…but with MOST people, this is dealt with fairly quickly and frequently does not last and they are interested more in solving the problem then in spouting off. Its the moron who calls twice a week for the same problem (or rather the same thing he can’t figure out how to do..despite being walked through it on a regular basis), swears at me and my boss, my company and my mother (or assorted relative) who deserves and GETS my contempt.

Problem is EVERYBODY in this society has forgotten what “people skills” ARE except when THEY feel others need them…Politeness and sociability is the exception everywhere and NOT the rule…both in tech support workers and in the callers.

My advice is, if you feel you’re being condescended to, or patronized by, or that a tech support worker is being rude…FIRST and FOREMOST, honestly check YOUR attitude with this person…I’d say a good 3rd or half the time you’ll see what a rude jerk you’ve been because of frustration and anger (totally understandable, but hardly civilized)..if rectifying THAT problem changes nothing…THEN blame the guy you’re talking to.

dev0n (user link) says:

i hire for people skills! :)

as the technical support manager at a web hosting company, i have to agree with this article.. however.. there are managers out there who do hire with people skills in mind.
every member of my team understands the importance of not treating end users like idiots. every member of my team understands that a good portion of their job is making sure customers are happy, not just debugging their perl code.
i make it a point to stress this during the hiring process and during the training process and on the job. ask any of my employees.. and our customers! 🙂
tech support people can be nasty (i have heard people call end-users “lusers” and there ARE people out there who shouldn’t own a computer) but a GOOD support person will not let that show through into conversations with customers.
after all.. end-users and customers PAY OUR SALARIES. there’s no excuse for being rude or snobby with them.. without them, we wouldn’t have jobs.

Linda Marie (user link) says:

Tech Support and People Skills

This is an interesting perspective. I have to agree that when I first started managing, I thought it was more important to hire help desk techs for their technical skills. Later I realized that it was better to look for people skills first. Check out my blog for more:


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...