I used to work for AppleCare. I worked for them about 2 years. This call was one of the reasons I quit the job.
The call started off very well. The customer was in a fairly good mood. He was excited to tell me that he had been using mac products since the 90’s and he loved Apple products.
When a customer calls in like this, I instantly get worried. It is because the issue he or she may be facing most likely would be very hard to solve. After all, he admitted he used macs for 30 years!
I got his contact information and pulled up his information. I then asked what I could do to help make his day better. His reply will forever haunt my thoughts. It was so totally unexpected that it actually hurt my head thinking about it.
I had worked 4 years total at this point in my call support career. I had taken 30,000 plus calls. This call is easily the worst call.
His question was very simple. He wanted to know how to copy a file to a flash drive. That was it! You might think I am crazy having had so much trouble with this simple issue. It was not the issue that caused the problem in the call it was the customer.
I have had calls with 90 year old women that touched their computer for the first time that was easier than this call. It was like he had never touched a computer in his entire life. He may have said he used macs for 30 years, he acted like just started using it that day,
The call was over a HOUR! I had to painstakingly walk him through every single step. Every step was its own task for me to walk him through. Getting him to open the mac apple menu took 15 minutes! I cant describe how granular each step had to be broken up into to make it so he could follow my instructions. It was like teaching a robot. Each step was done exactly how I said it. I know someone following your instructions to the letter sounds like a good thing. When taken to an extreme anything can become bad. Trust me you do not want to be teaching robots how to do things.
When you give instructions, you assume the person performing the instruction and you would have some shared common knowledge that you can derive the instructions. For example, asking someone to pass the bread. You can safely assume that the person knows what bread is and what passing means. I would ask him to do something and he needed to ask something about each and every instruction.
When giving instructions, it is always best to make them as simple as possible. The problem becomes when dealing with difficult customers is you reach a point you can not make it any more simpler without making it more complex. It gets weird when you get to this point because you struggle to figure out a way to make something super easy even easier.
I dont remember the call well. I do remember he got very difficult as the call got longer. He did not have very much patience. He was also very rude! I was very angry at the end of the call. Ideally I did not give any indication of that fact. I was so mad I immediately looked for another job. When I found one I gave my two week notice and never looked back.