When Support Calls: Helping Your Support Team To Help Your Customers

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It's not uncommon for testers to be asked to help out on support calls. It makes sense: testers often act as advocates for the customer, testers get to view a product in the round, and testers have usually seen many of the error cases that customers might encounter.

Support calls are like testing because they're about generating ideas, testing hypotheses, and getting to the bottom of a problem. But support calls are also not like testing because they're in front of a customer who'd rather be somewhere else, with an issue they don't want and an expectation that you will resolve it.

In this series, we'll introduce some support call basics, talk about how to prepare for a call, suggest some ways to survive and even thrive on the call, show how to end the call, and then think about what kinds of things can be done to cement what you learned afterwards.

We think this is a great introduction for testers who've never done support before and are about to get involved, a helpful enumeration of the kind of wisdom that old hands already learned the hard way, and useful background on the technical support role for others.