Category Archives: Uncategorized

Don’t Shun Non-Technical Users – Teach Them

Working in tech support for a large electric company, I see customers with a wide variety of technical website issues – some issues are user error while other issues stem from a “blip” in a back-end process. Conservatively speaking, I’ve fielded between 2,000 and 2,500 technical website issues and, more often than not, it’s some combination of customer and company issue.

While my company trains our customer service representatives on how to use the website, who can do the same for customers in an attempt to reduce user error? If utilities are serious about catering to all customers, they should take the initiative and offer FREE, online, website navigation workshops for all customers who want to participate.

The obvious question you’re asking yourselves is: ‘what responsibility does a utility (or any company) have to educate its customers on how to use its website?’ Stakeholders would argue the company’s responsibility is to make money. If customers can’t use Company A’s website to pay their bill or view their daily usage, for example, assume that they’ll look for another company, Company B’s website, that does. I’m no economist but that can’t be good for Company A’s bottom line.

Or maybe a majority of customers don’t feel like they need to know the website or don’t believe a free workshop would help them anyway. Maybe they feel like it’s easier to simply call Customer Care who will submit a web form to Tech Support who will call them back in less than three business days.

But if there’s data supporting the fact that enough customers are struggling to figure out the exact same website functionalities, and said company has the resources and the means to educate them, it would be foolish for the company to dismiss those customers as “lost causes.”

Great, I’ve identified that there are customers who could have self-served on the website, but didn’t. Now what? If I was running the show, I would want my Tech Support person to sit down with my Training person and my Customer Service Supervisor and hash out a few things:

  1. What is the most frequent complaint that the Care Center hears (“I can’t pay my bill online”) AND;
  2. Does that align with the most common technical support issue (“I click ‘Submit’ on the Pay My Bill page and nothing happens”) AND, if so;
  3. How do I give the customer the knowledge and tools to work through the issue themselves, via an online workshop?

If it’s check and check, I would move forward with a pilot workshop to address the third item.

More on that in the next post…

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Analysis of Week 1 Featured Pick

If you made your picks based off of Section 426’s Week 1 post, some of you, namely the Survivor pool people, were really happy. Others, those who participate in a football pool with spreads are in play, not so much. Atlanta won the game but they didn’t cover the seven-point spread.

What I Got Right

With Chicago missing its top WR from last year, I had a good feeling they’d struggle moving the ball downfield. As it turns out, the Bears attempted one pass of more than 15 yards in the air – it was to the RB out of the backfield and it was incomplete. For comparison’s sake, the Falcons attempted three such passes, catching two of them for 106 yards and a TD. This was 88 yards of it in one fell swoop:

Zach Miller was targeted four times between the 20s, catching three passes for 28 yards. Two of those targets came on the Bears’ last drive of the game.

What I Got Wrong

Takkarist McKinley was a non-factor. He had two tackles. Oh and he told some really good jokes to his teammates on the sidelines. Lots of laughs.

Devonta Freeman had a TD, but don’t be fooled, he wasn’t “on.” Last year, the Bears surrendered the sixth-most rushing yards in the league (1,950) and the sixth-most rushing yards per game (121.9). Freeman managed 37 yards on 12 carries.

Featured Pick

Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns (+8)

First off, I’m comfortable picking Baltimore over Cleveland in Survivor as well as ATS (against the spread) pools. Since 2010, Cleveland has only won one time in Baltimore. WR Mike Wallace scored two red zone TDs against Cleveland last year when the teams met in Baltimore. Now there’s no shutdown corner in Cleveland as Joe Haden is now playing for the Steelers. I know it’s only one week into the season but Baltimore’s defense is playing out of its ever-lovin’ mind: per Pro Football Reference, five takeaways and five sacks and kudos to you if you started the Ravens defense in fantasy last week.

How does that saying go? You can take Jared out of Fantasy Football but you can’t take Fantasy Football out of Section 426.

Prediction: Baltimore 24, Cleveland 3

Two Words for You Domonic Brown: Mea Culpa

“When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.”

It’s the phrase uttered by the late Jerry Orbach in the classic ’80s flick, Dirty Dancing. It’s also a completely apropos statement relating to Phillies’ outfielder Domonic Brown. Thanks to a home run barrage by Brown in May, he’s made bloggers like me look plain silly. Continue reading