Who Are Our Customers?

In order to understand who we are and what we do, we must first look at our customers. So let’s look at a few facts: (sources for information will be credited at end of post)

  1. Around 5% of the U.S. population ranks at level 3, the strongest level of computer literacy. Another 26% ranks at level 2, where users can do things like “find a sustainability-related document that was sent to you by John Smith in October last year.” Those who ranked in level 2 likely aren’t developers or engineers, but they get by. However, for the 69% of the population below level 2, complex skills are still hard to come by. 26% of people weren’t even able to use computers.
  2. 85.1% percent of American homes have some sort of computer
  3. 88.5 % percent of Americans use the internet. Yet today, 13% of U.S. adults do not use the internet. 1% percent ages 18-29 do not use the internet. 4% percent ages 30-49 do not use the internet. 16% percent ages 50-64 do not use the internet. 41% percent ages 65 and over do not use the internet.

Now these stats should give you a pretty good look at our client/customer base. I wish I could provide you with the stats of how many Help Desk technicians are bonafied and qualified to be Help Desk technicians but, that is another blog post.

Anyway as you can see a vast majority of our customers/clients call us because they are having a problem with their systems or applications and don’t know what to do. Many are hired for positions and not shown nor properly trained for what they are going to be doing on the computer or the applications they are going to be used. And in some cases even we are unaware of what they may be using yet, we are expected to solve the issue…YESTERDAY!


In the course of a day we can end up wearing a number of hats during one call. As soon as I answer the phone (and sometimes before I can get “Can I help you”) out of my mouth we become a HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR because we have to calm your “waiting til the last minute” to call, panicking tail down because you want to throw the computer out of the window. We also have to be a COUNSELOR because you sit or stand there bleeding our ear drums out telling us how much your boss gets on your nerves, how you don’t like your job, how your children and/or significant other ain’t acting right, and your financial issues. Now we have to become a MINISTER and pray we can solve the issue so you won’t feel like the whole world is against you. Or even a COMEDIAN or ENTERTAINER to help divert your attention from the issue at hand.

Now…if we am successful at solving the issue…WE ARE GODS, if we am not…we are no good and useless. Forget about the fact we may not have the proper tools or access to solve the issue. Or even the fact there are certain protocols in place that we must follow (even when we try to possibly fast track you) and there is nothing we can do about that. Then YOU (the customer) gets upset, send an email to the manager who is more concerned about how they look versus finding a resolve where everyone comes out ok.

And if you are a contractor on a help desk assignment all it takes is one phone call and your day could end before it gets started because the companies have a clause in place that states you can be removed WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION from the contract. Customers have no idea about that. So when you pick up the phone to call on us think about all of the things we have to work with just to solve your problem so you can get back to work.

And please keep in mind until we can get you to tell us what your problem is we won’t be able to fix it. And some of us do feel bad when we can’t fix it.

NEXT POST…Calls and getting to the problem.

Stat can be found at the links below:

http://lifehacker.com/this-chart-shows-how-computer-literate-most-people-are-1789761598 (Eric Ravenscraft 12/07/16)

http://overflow.solutions/demographic-data/what-percentage-of-american-homes-have-a-computer/ (BY CHASE ON MARCH 13, 2016)

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/07/some-americans-dont-use-the-internet-who-are-they/ ( MONICA ANDERSON AND ANDREW PERRIN SEPTEMBER 7, 2016)


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