Bumping into Open Tech Support - The Ultimate Tech Support Site, I came to think...
When I have a computer problem here in the office, I sometimes ring IT support for help. An anonymous guy I do not know (each time someone different) answers the phone, asks me a series of questions, and then gives me a ticket number. Any time between a few hours and three months after (depending on the priority), another guy comes to my office, takes my seat, asks for my ID and password and tries to troubleshoot the problem. I don’t know what he is doing; he mumbles to himself, and does not try to explain anything. Then one of two things can happen. Either he leaves without a solution, which leads to another ticket or to the new claim that « we don’t support this software », or his solution works but with dramatic side effects on other applications. (Sounds familiar ?)
Why couldn't tech support take a different perspective and view its primary role as educating employees to solve the problems themselves? Wouldn't it look very different? The employee would be expected to learn the basics with manuals ou e-learning tools, even on company time. She would then « graduate » into a community of practice of IT users of the company, with special interest groups, discussion forums, troubleshooting guides, meetings etc. She would not pay for the service of having her PC troubleshooted, but for the service of accessing the community and its social network.
It would undoubtedly take more of her time, but she would be incredibly more effective and happy in her daily work.
I know I would.