Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Wish All My Customers Were Kids

My last customer today was about 11 years old. From time to time, I get a child on the phone. I wish all my customers were kids! Now, my view is probably skewed a bit because, of course, the kids who call tech support are clearly kids whose parents allow them to do so (one would assume) and who, therefore, are probably the kind of kids who are encouraged to be thoughtful, polite, etc. But this is what I know--they do what I tell them to do, without arguing. They explain the problem they are having quite clearly and generally without telling me what they think went wrong (and when they do tell me, invariably it makes me smile). They are extremely honest about what they did to their gadgets. And they are very, very tech-savvy.

More than once, I have been on the phone with a parent who is calling about a device they have never used. I usually ask to speak the kid. After all, if I tell the parent and the parent tells the kid...well, playing tech-support telephone is not a recipe for great results. Plus, I love to talk to kids.

I think there's a lesson here. Children are very capable, of more than most parents realize. And if we treat them like regular people, and expect them to conduct business like we would expect any over-18-year-old person to conduct themselves, they generally have no problem doing so. They don't need to be babied when it comes to interpersonal relations. (I think that's one of the reasons I dislike the standard school system--keeping them all cooped up in rooms full of people just the same age keeps them from developing adult-level social skills.)

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