tech talk is not customer friendly

Tech Talk is Not Customer Service Friendly.

I will be totally honest.  Sometimes I look at other blogs to come up with blog ideas for Nwaj Tech.  It’s not that uncommon. A lot of bloggers recommend this when they need ideas.

When doing this research, I look at blog topics and if catches my interest or I think it’s something my clients/potential clients might find useful I will read it.

What I have noticed with many of the IT-focused blogs is something that has bothered me for a long time now.  The use of tech talk or tech jargon to make their point.

People in technology fields will tech talk you to death, even on their blogs.

There is a stigma attached to those in information technology.  That stigma is that we talk down to people and use technical jargon when we do this.

Your IT business cannot claim to be customer service centric and use tech talk in the same breath. ~Scott Gombar

Why Tech Talk Hurts Customer Relationships

Imagine going to the doctor for what you believe to be a minor problem.  You get occasional headaches but you’re not sure what is causing them.  After spending a few minutes talking to you and checking the basics the doctor tells you that you suffer from Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. 

Holy Batman, what is that you ask?  He continues to inundate you with medical terminology that is way above your head.  Then he sends you home with no further explanation or even a prescription.

First, let me define Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.  It’s more commonly referred to as brain freeze.  This happens if you eat or drink something very cold fast.

Now if you left the doctor’s office without an explanation you would probably never return to that doctor again, right?

This happens in a lot of industries.  Plumbing, legal, auto repair just to name a few.

It happens in information technology too, a lot.

help desk without the tech jargon

What’s the Solution to Tech Jargon?

At a previous job, I was responsible for training technical support reps to assist customers, mostly non-technical, with technical problems.

The technical support department had a reputation for talking down to customers and even other non-technical employees.

We decided to rework all the training and related materials to exclude tech jargon and instead used layman’s terms wherever possible.  We also trained employees that if they were to use tech jargon they had to define or explain it.

After approximately 6 months of utilizing this method of training survey scores and overall perception of the technical support team was improved drastically.

A few years later I was put in charge of a project to train non-technical employees on CompTIA’s A+ and Network+ material.  The program had a great success rate.  Almost every employee who went through the training continued to the technical support department.

The solution is simple.  Train your technical client-facing employees how to talk to your customers the way you would want your doctor, lawyer or plumber to talk to you.

At Nwaj Tech we don’t assume that our client understands technical jargon and we will never tech talk you to sleep.  We value our relationships with our clients and we understand that the technology world can be unnecessarily complicated.

On our blog posts, we do our best to explain everything in a way that any business owner can understand.  We also do our best to explain the benefits for your business, not what is a shiny new toy for us.

Business owners and operators want to know how a service or product is going to improve their bottom line, employee production or improve the security of their network, servers, and workstations.

We get it.  That’s what we strive to deliver to our clients.

We won’t tech talk you to death.

tech talk is not customer friendly

Scott Gombar

Author Scott Gombar

More posts by Scott Gombar

Join the discussion 24 Comments

  • Alissa says:

    This is a great read. It’s so true! People need to understand what they are doing!

  • Sandra says:

    I must admit that sometimes, there are jargon words that I really do not fully understand. I have no choice but to research on it. Then I try to really understand everything about it. It gives one the capacity to learn or relearn a new word or a word that is technically apt for an IT. Sometimes it can be overwhelming as well. But yes, as in all kind of service… the best way to reach out to another person is to use words and/or explanations that will be understood by him or her. Thanks for this insight!

  • Thuy-Linh says:

    Communication is important in every field of work. It’s important to get a point across without being too condescending or talking down to customers, I’m glad you acknowledge this far too often overlooked point!

  • I don’t know much about technology so when I do ask, I get talked down to, like I should have known the answer to my question. For this reason, I continue to be unaware of a lot of things that I’d really love to learn. This is very helpful to businesses that are tech related. I hope they will take your advice and train their employees on how to talk to customers.

  • Joan says:

    This is great I have read blogs like that where I am really trying to learn something but if I have to start rethinking what they are talking about and what it means I am totally out, you can talk tech just not always at least until I learn some terminologies lol.

  • Sri Ramani says:

    Thats so true! Its really important for any service provider to explain anything in a customer friendly way! But unfortunately many don’t concentrate on this point! Great post!

  • Amber Myers says:

    I don’t even know what Tech Talk is. I don’t know the jargon at all. My kids have to help me out most of the time! Or I’ll Google things, because I’ll be all, “What are they talking about?”

  • I find it so hard to follow jargon when I am dealing with tech stuff. It is not customer friendly when people start to speak tech stuff to me and expect me to follow.

  • soonjoo says:

    I love how bringing the industry and people together by providing examples and resolution. I’m sure Nwaj Tech can be great assets for future.

  • Terri says:

    Tech jargon is def way above my head. I like how you are teaching others to talk to the layman in layman terms.

  • Rebecca says:

    Great post! I find tech stuff very intimidating and “over my head”. It’s nice to hear that you get this and are willing to explain things to customers in a way they can understand. This is great customer service, and just a nice way to relate to others in general.

  • This is insightful post. I agree that we all don’t understand all the technical terms. And using them with non-technical customers take the discussion in a different direction. To keep using layman’s language is a good solution to save time and energy.

  • Devyani says:

    When in doubt- google ! That’s what I do.

  • Thanks pointing out that tech talk can be off putting to some especially when dealing with end users who are not accustomed to technical jargon.

  • Shanab says:

    That’s a great solution provided to teach your staff to speak to them like they are talking to a doctor. Because people want to feel like they are speaking to a person not a robot.

  • Yonca says:

    Great read!
    It is really good that you explain everything in a way that all business owners can easily understand.

  • Traci Frett says:

    Love everything you said in this post. I have a hard time understanding the techy side of things and I love when I find the right person that is patient and can explain it to me the way I need them to.

  • Tiffany says:

    This was new to me, I usually have to ask my husband when it comes to key words. However I think you were right that this happens in a lot of fields and it is a good reminder to just be aware.

  • Iris says:

    I not a techie person, good thing I have a techie husband! I always rely to him especially when it is about tech stuff.

  • Dani says:

    Oh yes!! Talk tech talk with me and I do my best to follow but I struggle, have no idea what’s going on and probably end up slowly walking away in the direction of another consultant who will just tell it to me straight

  • Peng Desuyo says:

    Great job, kudos in beginning to use layman’s term to explain all these technical stuff. Customers like us will surely be more informed and enthusiastic to learn more.

  • Thank you for this “tech” info, I am thankful for the honest review, customer service is important to me, especially when I am not very educated in this! Thank you!

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