If you can show your client that you’re working in their best interests, you’ll have a customer for life.
Case in point, a gentleman named Vernon. Vernon works for an overseas ’tech support’ call center of ill-repute. His tech support center is usually the one you’ll find at the top of a google search for the tech support you were actually looking for. Here’s an example, from Bing.
Those things really look like search results, don’t they? They’re not. They’re paid ads. The only way you’d know is the slightly different color on the page behind them, and the top line. ”Ads related to (subject)”
I’d ask you to put yourself in the shoes of our more seasoned citizens who are not internet savvy. They miss it all the time, and it’s perfectly understandable that they do.
‘Vernon’ was the ‘tech support agent’ on the line when Joe (not his real name) called him. Joe had a problem with a printer. Vernon told him that he would be happy to help with his printer, but needed to remote into his computer to see what was going on. Once there, Vernon told Joe that there were a number of problems with his PC, many registry errors and junk that needed to be cleaned out, which he would be able to do for the fee of $120 dollars.
Joe insisted that his issue was with his printer, and needed help with this. It was at this point that Vernon called me. Vernon represented himself as a tech support agent with the company I work for, in the department I work for. Well, I can see everyone I work with, in the only department in this country that works with these devices, and not one of them is named Vernon. Vernon conferences Joe on the line, and we begin to go through his problem. About five minutes in, Joe explains what the situation with Vernon is. Vernon jumps on the line and starts to defend himself by saying “Well, we did a scan of your PC and we see many registry errors here, many junk.”
Now that I know what is going on, I’m going to stop this. ”Joe, I’d like to ask Vernon a few questions, so give me just a moment. Vernon, you did a scan of Joe’s PC?”
“And you see registry errors?”
“Yes, many registry errors.”
Vernon can’t do that of course because he’s a scammer who being paid crap wages by some offshore outfit to hold people’s PC’s hostage and extort (or at worst, outright steal) money from people who don’t know better. Vernon tries two or three more times to save his catch, but I press him to tell Joe specifically what is wrong with his PC. If he did a scan, he has a list of things he can read from. He admitted that he did not. I tell Joe to disconnect and that I would call him back at the number he gave me. I tell Vernon that he should be ashamed of himself, and thank him for calling me.
I call Joe back, and we resolve his problem with a Q-Tip. Total cost to Joe, zero. His problem is solved. I also take the time to explain to Joe exactly what Vernon was, makes sure he has our direct number and our website, I send him an email with a direct link to our website, and since he allowed Vernon access to his PC, that he take his PC to a computer repair place like Geek Squad and have them look it over. I tell him exactly what to say to the Geek Squad guys so they know what to look for. I also tell him to keep an eye on his personal data over the next week or so, just in case.
I looked out for Joe. Because I did that, Joe is going to be a customer of my company for life. That’s Agency. The benefit is, he’s going to tell his friends about his interaction with me, and his friends will come to my company next time they need something. My company benefits, and that’s going to show in the long-term in a small way. More important to me is my ability to sleep with a clear conscience., and I sleep very well, thank you.
In a previous life with another company, looking out for Joe got me fired, because that company didn’t care about looking out for people. I do, and at this stage of my life I’d rather be fired ten times over for doing the right thing than be scared to act for fear of losing a job.
I would be remiss if I didn’t voice my displeasure at the search providers (like the picture listed above). Might just be my opinion here, but either more should be done to differentiate ads from actual search results (and I mean make it BLATANTLY FUCKING OBVIOUS), or in the case of these predatory scam artists, refuse to take their money and refuse to run their ads. I don’t know what can be done, but something should be done. These folks are scum, and they should be stopped.