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Stranger than Fiction
Looking for help in all the wrong places
Wall Street Journal 25 Aug 97
A survey of computer help desks conducted by Service Intelligence found
that in a quarter of the 90 completed calls, technicians either provided
the wrong answers or said the problem was unsolvable -- even though each
question asked was taken from the company's own Web site list of
frequently asked questions, or FAQs. "We expected to find a high level of
knowledge in answering questions, and we found the opposite," says a
Service Intelligence research director. Researchers also cited wait times
of 10 minutes or more before getting through to a human. In response, the
companies targeted -- Adobe Systems, Corel, Intuit, Lotus Development
Corp., Maximizer Technologies and Microsoft -- say they field a tremendous
number of inquiries each day and the vast majority of callers receive
satisfactory answers. "At Adobe, people are trained and tested before
they are ever put on the phones," says an Adobe spokeswoman. "That is not
to say the person might not have the answer," she adds.