Back from the "ID10T" brink - wrap-up of the Adobe story

Last Friday, I was finally able to get my technical support problem resolved with Adobe's Connect Pro web-conferencing service.  My goal was to continue using the service, so I'm glad I didn't have to cancel. At the same time, Adobe's customer service was exceptionally poor. This epilogue highlights the costly effects of an "ID10T" customer service philosophy: I'm frustrated, Adobe looks bad, and we've both wasted time and resources.

I'm Frustrated
On Friday, I received a phone call from Rahul, a Technical Support Consultant at Adobe. He asked me a few questions, put me on hold for just a moment, then asked me to try logging in. Shazam! The problem was fixed.  Total time = <5 minutes.  Why am I frustrated? Because it took so much of my time to finally get connected with the person who had the solution.

Adobe Looks Bad
Taking an "ID10T" approach with customers is never a good policy. If you didn't catch my earlier posts on the subject, "ID10T" is technical support slang for user-error (or, the customer is an idiot). Dealing with obstinate service reps who insist on walking through a protocol that takes 30 minutes to complete, but brings us no closer to resolving the issue, is infuriating.  And, furious customers like to share.

Everything else was waste...
Adobe and I both wasted a lot of time on what turned out to be a 5 minute solution once it got to the right person. 

  • Six different Adobe employees communicated with me via phone and/or email at some point in time.
  • Total phone time = more than 60 minutes (with 4 Adobe employees).
  • Total email messages = 7
  • Total angry blog and message board posts from me = 7

What can we learn?

This situation highlights a few key lessons for any customer service operation. First, never assume your customer is an idiot. (Although some are -- it's not up to us to point that out.) Second, your customer service operation should rapidly funnel customers to the person who can help, rather than setting up obstacles and roadblocks erected in the name of "efficiency" and "cost containment". Third, make sure the left hand and the right hand get together once in awhile so each knows what the other is doing. While I was on the phone with Rahul getting my problem fixed on Friday, I received an email from Matt that simply said "Are you still experiencing this issue?" Thanks, Matt.  That email was super-helpful... (Insert sarcasm here.)