Thanksgiving — A time for Turkey, Football, and Tech Support?!
The day before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year in the United States. Families from all over the country come together to eat turkey, watch football, and give thanks. If you are the ‘techie’ of your family, you also know there is one more thing waiting for you this Thanksgiving season. That’s right almighty technical one — you are greeted with all the traditional hugs, kisses, handshakes, and backslaps, but also with the laundry list of Tech Support requests that your parents, grandparents, in-laws, and non-technical siblings have been storing up for you since you left last year.
As Internet access has become more and more pervasive, connected devices are taking over our homes, and for the technical elite, supporting these devices has become a holiday tradition. Troubleshooting WiFi printers, smartphones, tablets, streaming media devices, macs, pcs and the like has taken its place at the table right next to the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
For those of you that can relate to this story, you already know the reality that troubleshooting on Thanksgiving is no easy chore. You need to buy the right cable to connect something up? Sorry, stores are closed. Need to reset a password or make some sort of account change? Sorry, call back during normal business hours. Nope…it is just you channeling your inner MacGyver that is going to get the job done this year. Just like you did last year.
As we think about and prepare for this year’s Tech Support season — it feels like we can all unanimously agree that supporting the modern home is no easy task. Even the best among us don’t know all the answers going in. We just have to hope that we worked on our fundamentals enough during the year and that a catastrophic snow storm doesn't cut off our emergency supply of Red Bull.
“Why can’t we enable others to find these answers not just on Thanksgiving, but 365 days a year?”
We don’t want to be the ones to break the Magician’s Code this holiday season, but as we break down the X’s and O’s of Thanksgiving Tech Support, our scouts have identified 2 key characteristics that seem to correlate to success:
1. The technical elite just search better. Answers for even some of the most obscure questions are out there, but there is a systematic process required to find them — not to mention find them at the right time, under pressure. Understanding that process of keyword inclusion and exclusion to accurately describe your situation is what separates the technical elite from the average Turkey Eater.
2. Winners Never Quit (and quitters never win). The average Thanksgiving guest will only spend a mere 10 seconds looking for an answer to a problem before they either: (a) call into the (generally) useless help desk of Company X, or (b) just decide to cancel the service or return the device. They don’t understand that we can’t quit. We won’t quit. Dinner getting cold? Fine. Kids need attention? Go play outside. Success is about focus. Eye on the prize.
As a member of the technical elite your mind has probably drifted to the obvious next question. Why is it this way? Why can’t we automate and scale the systematic process of finding the right help? Why does it take our valuable time? Why can’t we enable others to find these answers not just on Thanksgiving, but 365 days a year?
The reality of it is that the complexity of gadgets in the home has outgrown our modern self-service tools. Search has gotten too hard for the average consumer because there is so much context required to create the right query. Content isn't indexed properly. The right information is simply too hard for the average mortal to find.
And thus we are faced with 2 options.
Option 1: we pass our trade down to our sons and daughters and hope that they can carry on in the face of increasing complexity or solve this problem when they come of age.
Option 2: we refuse to accept the status quo, we refuse to pass this problem down a generation like some budget deficit or global warming. No…we stop it today.
If you've read this far, you know we are going with Option 2. So what does it take? It takes an entirely new approach. It takes an entirely new self-service toolset. We need to put help content into context and we need to collaboratively filter out the good from the bad. We need to reduce the search burden and make access to the right and best help for a given situation easily accessible so that average Turkey Eaters can find it.
At StepOne, Inc we are solving exactly this problem through our next generation Platform. If you, too, refuse to pass this problem down to your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and friends — come join our team! We are looking for motivated full-stack developers — apply on our website, or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!