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Tech Support: The View From The Other Side

In the first part of this story in May SILICON CHIP Barrie Smith tipped us into the maelstrom of the funny yarns about Tech Support. Now he gets serious and investigates how the major companies handle the floods of enquiries and queries that rain upon enterprises brave enough to market their products... and daring enough to back them up with help and comfort for the buying public.

by Barrie Smith

Tech support can be confronting for the caller. It can also be a challenge for the operator at the call centre… but the feedback from the buying public can be worth every cent of the centre’s operational cost in the way it channels into the hearts and minds of the customer.

To get a feel for the business I spoke to a number of companies: Adobe, Canon, Microsoft and Sony.


Adobe’s Asia Pacific area provides support in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean.

Adobe operators can access an internal knowledge base to assist them with both technical and other information to resolve customer questions.

Adobe describe this as a “living document”, compiled from three sources: core product knowledge derived from the development teams during product development; information gained from the beta-testing stages of the product; then the continuously-added product information gathered after the product hits the market.

Backing this is an on-line knowledge base providing customers with the appropriate information to resolve their own issues. Adobe feels the best tech support resolution it can provide is the one that does not involve the customer contacting Adobe at all!


Canon Australia support every consumer product the company has ever made (and sold in Australia). Some of that dates back a long time, so they have customers ringing in with a product that might have been last sold in the early 90s.

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