It’s been a long week of tech support for me. For some reason there have been a lot of recent small failures on systems I don’t directly control, and hence, can’t fix. So I do what we all do, I contact tech support.
The problem is, by the time I get to the front of the queue and get connected to a Level 1 tech, I know something the tech doesn’t. He can’t help me. This is not my first barn dance. There’s a high probability I’ve tried all fixes at my disposal already. It’s not unusual that I wind up explaining to the tech how the system he’s “helping” me with works. But I know I have to go through the process. I have to repeat all the steps and waste all the time only to be inevitably escalated to Level 2 support.
Don’t take me wrong, it’s not that I have disdain for L1 support. I know why they are there. I used to work in a call center. I know the questions the average user calls with and that L1s knock a lot of them down. But I’m a little past that. Not that I’ve never called with an L1 issue, but generally I know when I call whether or not the issue will require escalation. But they don’t know I know.
In school, often a course had prerequisites—courses that had to be taken before you could take this one. As an alternative, you could usually test out of the prerequisite. Basically, you were proving you already knew enough to gain access to the higher level course. But this was something you only had to do once. You didn’t need to test out before every class.
Why can’t tech support be like that? For help desks I use with frequency, why can’t I test out of L1 support just once such that all my calls go right to L2? Why do I have to test out on every call? It would be cheaper for them and so much more satisfying for me. A win all the way around. Pretty please?