This has two implications.
One: itâs crucial that tech support have access to the development team. This
means that you canât outsource tech support: they have to be right there at the
same street address as the developers, with a way to get things fixed. Many
software companies still think that itâs âeconomicalâ to run tech support in
Bangalore or the Philippines, or to outsource it to another company altogether.
Yes, the cost of a single incident might be $10 instead of $50, but youâre
going to have to pay $10 again and again.
When we handle a tech support incident with a well-qualified person here in New
York, chances are thatâs the last time weâre ever going to see that particular
incident. So with one $50 incident weâve eliminated an entire class of
Somehow, the phone companies and the cable companies and the ISPs just donât
understand this equation. They outsource their tech support to the cheapest
possible provider and end up paying $10 again and again and again fixing the
same problem again and again and again instead of fixing it once and for all in
the source code. The cheap call centers have no mechanism for getting problems
fixed; indeed, they have no incentive to get problems fixed because their
income depends on repeat business, and thereâs nothing they like better than
being able to give the same answer to the same question again and again.
Joel Spolsky, "Seven steps to remarkable customer service"