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Will Technical Support Ever Die Out?

When the first computers became publically accessible, it was only the computer enthusiasts who purchased them. Nowadays, almost everyone has a computer, and it is the computer enthusiasts who are turned to for technical support.

Of course computers are a lot easier to use than they were 4 decades ago. We have graphical user interfaces which suggest how to proceed with useful tooltips, step by step wizards, and on screen help documents.

I do wonder how many people turn to ‘Google‘ with their problem before referring to the built in help within their preferred software package. There are a huge quantity of forum discussions that almost always contain the exact problem you are having with a number of solutions. If this huge quantity of information is available to you on the internet, is there really any need for personal technical support?

The answer to that question is yes, there is a need. There may be alot of information available through the internet but it is usually too technical and you end up needing someone in technical support  just to talk you through what you have found.

For example using jargon such as, “change the default program for a file extension” may be meaningless to most people, but when explained as “There are many programs that can open that file, we just need to decide which one by default will open the file when double clicked” will actually mean something.

Also, a lot of users prefer the simplicity of phoning their technical support staff to get a personal response that is specific to their problem. In some cases they may have to wait for the technical support operator to research the issues and then talk them through the same fix they would have found online – but the operator will have better insights in to what to search for, and how to word the instructions for the particular user.

So even with the huge quantity of information on the internet, it still appears there is a want (if not a need) for personalised one to one technical support.

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