If you are a Technical Support Professional or a Consulting Company the rules are the same. No matter what part of the computer industry you are in, customer service is the number one goal. Yes your job is about solving computer problems, but you must remember the customer at all times. If you are savvy at all you can quickly decide how much computer knowledge your customer has. You must never assume that what seems simple to you is common knowledge to a customer.
We live in an uncommon era where older adults and younger adults are divided by one simple fact. If you are under the age of 40, you grew up with emerging technology and many of you have gotten quite good at it. If you are under 25 you grew up in the middle of a technology revolution. Computers are almost second hand to your generation. Many of the tasks some find daunting may come easily to you. Most of the average Forty Year old and up adults in our world, found dramatic changes in their life around the mid 1990's. All of a sudden computers had taken over their lower technology world.
I do not mean to sound derogatory in the slightest. The world may not have had as much technology but the people over 40 trying to learn this technology are just as smart if not smarter than you. Anytime we are faced with products that are new there is a break-in period. Anytime we are faced with a product that changes every other year there is a break-in period. Anytime we are faced with a group of products(Microsoft) that seems to be full of bugs the break-in period can be daunting. In addition you have to think of all the people whom for whatever reason are maliciously hurting computer systems.
So the mistakes may seem to be evident now. However I will review them. Technicians and Consulting Companies are guilty of assuming that the end user has what they feel is common knowledge. Many users are not comfortable with computers. They have learned certain niches about their computer systems. Outside of these comfort areas on their systems many do not travel. When something happens that breaks the functionality of their computer many also panic. You have to realize they know that their business, financial and personal data is at risk. What seems easy to you may drive them up the wall. This is a major mistake many technicians make. To make matters worse they tend to make the customer feel inferior. Would you want to pay someone that made you feel inferior?
Another common mistake that is made by the technical savvy is that they take customers for granted. Doubting your customers brain power because they are computer inept is a major mistake. This also perceived as very insulting.
It is a simple fact we all make mistakes. I have made these mistakes and you may have also. By remembering to be personable and respectful you will gain the respect of your clients. In addition there is one tip that I find to be one of the most important.
By training your customers as you support them, you will make more money. You may dispute this, however more complicated problems can be addressed if the user can troubleshoot the small ones. Many companies maximize their brand of support by cleaning startup programs and computer infections. Sometimes this is a necessary evil. However the less you have to do the monotonous troubleshooting you will find your profit margin raising.