Customer Service

I have had a pretty frustrating week. I have two different Cisco installations misbehaving and have opened a TAC for each of them. Before I go into my rant, I would like to say that my general experience with TAC has been very good and TAC support is one of the best reasons (in my opinion) to choose Cisco over their competitors. For the last week, however, frustration and anger are the reining emotions toward TAC. Maybe the shift to Daylight Savings Time was just too much…

A week ago, I opened the two TAC cases and received the typical email from the case engineer, introducing himself and asking for some preliminary information, which I promptly provided. This is where things began to go wrong. On the first case, contact has been spotty and Webex appointments have been missed without so much as an email to let me know what has happened.

On the second case, I was unable to get the engineer to reconnect with me at all. Five days later I made a request to have the case transferred to someone else and work has finally begun on the case, but we are now in Spring Break and there is very little load on the system, so naturally we are having difficulty replicating a problem that was happening constantly while under load.

To say that I’m a little miffed is an understatement. The lack of communication has cost me many hours of time because while I made myself available for TAC, I was unable to do some other duties. Naturally, this has put me behind in my own obligations.

All of this has made me wonder. Is my customer service any better that what I have received this past week? Our department is a bit understaffed and falling behind is pretty common. In fact, for much of the network infrastructure work, I am the only person that regularly touches it. Worse, the nature of IT work is that a problem that “will only take a few minutes to fix” sometimes requires hours or even days to work through. The end result is that it is impossible help the next person in line. Problems pile up and sometimes small projects fall through the cracks.

Well, having been on the receiving end of IT Customer Service for the last week, I have made a resolution to make sure I am communicating with my end users. I can’t control the delays, but I can at least make sure that the end users — my customers — are kept in the loop and know that I haven’t forgotten them.

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