Re: 2014 version of 1980s "quick reference card" ?

Subject: Re: 2014 version of 1980s "quick reference card" ?
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:33:30 -0500

On Thursday, January 16, 2014, Alison Wyld <alison -dot- wyld -at- wyld-home -dot- net>

- agents in a call center. So these are folk with no technical training or background, potentially in fact not so much formal eduction

No wonder! My phone-and-internet recently died in a storm, and I called the call center. The person sounded technical, and I described the problem, but my use of correct terminology, "No DC. Obvious break between my house and the CO," prompted the response, "So you say that your modem isn't working?"

It was clear to me that communication was hopeless. The closest we could come to agreement was that there was no dial tone, and the tech said someone would come to my house within 48 hours. Back in the dark ages is was frequently possible to talk to someone who knew what the words meant, or could at least write them down. But no, now my words have to be translated into choices on a pick list, and I don't get to see the list beforehand.

As a follow-up, after service was restored, they sent me an e-mail asking me to complete a survey, ranking various aspects of the episode between 1 and 10. Again, useless. I started, but never completed their survey. Their results are thus skewed by failure to get any information from people who actually understand anything about telecommunications. Feh!

What (if anything) can we as tech writers do to improve this kind of situation by even three percent? How about this: "When it is obvious that the caller knows your job better than you do, WRITE DOWN THE WORDS and add them to the repair ticket. Do not promise fake repair times."

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2014 version of 1980s "quick reference card" ?: From: Alison Wyld
Re: 2014 version of 1980s "quick reference card" ?: From: Tony Chung

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