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My repetitive stress syndrome is becoming so painful that I went entirely ergonomic this week -- keyboard, mouse and mouse pad -- but not without some difficulty.


The keyboard arrived first but the software for the extra features needed to identify the mouse, and since I hadn't yet received the mouse, my needs were delayed.
Not long. The next day my mouse and pad arrived in a box that looked like the Hulk had grappled with it.
I followed the instructions precisely, which I never do but wanted to save time by not having to install twice because I never read instructions. The mouse didn't work. And when I tried to reinstall my old mouse, it no longer worked either. So I made the fateful phone call at 3:45 p.m. EST to tech support. It was in India.
Before you slam me for bias, I don't care if tech support lives on Mars, as long as my needs are met. In several years of chatting with my Indian friends, I am yet to hang up without feeling as if I just spent an hour in language hell.
It would be good for business executives to understand that English in the US and English as spoken in India are not one and the same language. That is not a criticism of India or any other English-speaking countries. It is simply a truth.
My point is that when Indians or Australians or the British or Americans call tech support, we would be best served by connecting to assistance that resides in our own countries, to people who speak our languages with all their tricky and natural differences that arise out of each country. In the US, that means American English or Canadian English and Spanish, as spoken throughout Latin America.
Why? Because the face of the brand is represented by customer touch points, which in this technical age are often represented by tech support and customer service. Those touch points should offer good to great customer experiences.
Here's my experience from my latest call and why Canada trumped India and might have saved Microsoft from losing my future business. (The jury remains out, as I am tired of the frustrations caused by trying to communicate with tech support in India.)
1. I could barely hear the technician, as the line was breaking up and his headset seemed to be damaged.
2. My detailed symptoms needed to be shared by me countless times, as he either did not understand me or had a very poor memory.
3. His accent was so heavy that even when I could hear him, I had difficulty understanding his instructions.
4. Out of exasperation, I thanked him and hung up--problem unsolved.
Then I found Microsoft's Sales Support telephone number and called it. I was connected to someone in New Brunswick, Canada, who was not a techie but in sales. She asked me a few questions, I followed her one suggestion, and we discovered within seconds that the mouse was defective. On Monday morning, a new mouse at no charge will be overnighted.
Some of the latter success is based on language and a clear phone path. Some of it is cultural. The Indian techie felt a need to move step-by-step through his written instructions, despite the fact that I explained to him several times that I had already tried all those things. He insisted on sticking to the manual. After nearly 40 minutes of frustration, I gave up.
The Canadian bypassed her written instructions and instead of talking, she listened. And then instead of going step-by-step as written in a manual, she put me on hold to ask her supervisor for approval to replace my mouse. Within five minutes I was off the phone--problem solved.
Guess which experience made me happy and resulted in me keeping any of the Microsoft products instead of trading then in for another manufacturer?
Lesson for Business: It isn't about cutting costs by outsourcing; it is about meeting customers' needs and giving them a good experience. Solving my problem painfully is only slightly better than not solving it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lewis Green, Founder and Managing Principal of L&G Business Solutions, LLC, (https://www.l-gsolutions.com) brings three decades of business management experience. L&G Business Solutions, LLC, represents his third company. Additionally, he held management positions with GTE Discovery Publications, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks Coffee Company.

In addition to his business experiences, Lewis is a published author and a former journalist, sports writer and travel writer. His feature articles have appeared in books, magazines and newspapers throughout North America. He has taught in public schools; lobbied for organizations both in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.; delivered workshops, seminars, and training programs; and made presentations to audiences in colleges, businesses and professional organizations. Lewis also has served as a book editor with a large publisher, the Executive Editor overseeing four magazines, and a newspaper department editor. Lewis served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal.