A recent study from the CMO Council's Customer Experience Board in partnership with iYogi puts metrics behind what we surmised at the Gripe Line some time ago: Computer users are fed up with the pain and suffering of poor technical support.
The study surveyed consumers, most of whom consider themselves tech savvy. Nearly all (94 percent) describe themselves as dependent on their computers, with 62 percent noting their level of dependency as "high." Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of these respondents expressed a significant level of frustration with technology, citing slow startup, system slowdowns, and connection problems as their biggest hassles.
[ Find out how your computer manufacturer rates in customer satisfaction | Frustrated by tech support? Get answers in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]
But the most telling statistic of interest to Gripe Line readers is this: Two-thirds of the survey’s respondents said they rely mostly on their own knowledge for technical support. Morever, among those who have called on technical support, 41 percent said they were "not highly satisﬁed" with the experience. Add to this the fact that less than 30 percent of those surveyed pay up to $100 a year for computer support, and that 42 percent of those folks are not satisfied with what they get at that price, and you start to see a troubling, if familiar, picture for computer support.
It seems to me that a full year of reliable technical support would be well worth $100. Unhelpful support, though? Not so much. This study serves as a confirmation that technical support -- across the board -- is missing the mark. Consumers don't have a high level of confidence that they can pick up the phone and get their problem solved. Most people aren't willing to pay for that level of dissatisfaction, and those who do cover the fees don't want to cough up $100 for what they are getting.
That's pretty sad.
I spoke to Derek Kober, senior vice president at the CMO Council, and Larry Gordon, president of global channels at iYogi, late last week about their study. They agreed.
"Computer makers aren't giving the users the after-market experience they want or expect," Kober said.
According to Gordon, it hasn't always been this bad: "It used to be that I would buy a computer and it came with pretty good service."