I'm sorry, what? Give it to me in plain English.

It’s been a trying week for me this week. I’ve never been the most patient person when it comes to tech. I expect it to work and when it doesn’t I can guarantee that my temper will get the better of me. All this despite the fact I possess a degree (albeit I majored in English Literature) in I.T. It was a long time ago and to be frank, that part of my degree should’ve been printed on toilet paper for all the good it was to me.

Anyway I digress. The point of the picture above is because it represents part of an exchange this week with a social media provider, who shall remain nameless, when my business page stopped working as it should. After a frustrating few days trying to find their customer contact details, I resorted to asking a friend. She was able to signpost me to a link to ‘speak’ to someone at the provider. I mean should it really be that difficult to speak to someone on a social media platform?

So, as you can imagine I was already at the end of a long and frayed rope before I had been passed the link to contact them. The person at the other end (I presume they were a person and not one of the dreaded bots), took the details and passed me to someone technical. But regrettably this is where it all went a bit Basil Fawlty for me.

Here’s the exchange in full…names have been removed just to save blushes.

‘Hi Sarah,

Right now, the team is exploring different interactions with the post composer, and we are planning to deprecate specific options due to lack of use. The current state of the composer has about 26 different options, and the team is aiming to reduce that number by half in an effort to reduce noise within the composer. While we cannot share the current statistics regarding the use of each button, the team may or may not be planning to deprecate that button. Our team is unable to blacklist pages for this experience unfortunately…

 

Hi

Thanks for the update – I’ll be honest though I have no idea what you mean by any of this…could you please explain it?

Many thanks.
Sarah

Hi Sarah,

The post composer options are currently being slowly deprecated. 

Your profile is one of the accounts where this has been applied. The roll out is being applied slowly to a number of accounts and will continue to deprecate over the coming months’. 

I mean what?? For me, it’s not about the content – if I had been informed that the matter was in hand. Or even that it wasn’t to do with my permissions and instead was something technical in my profile, I would’ve accepted that. Honestly, sometimes less is more in terms of what the customer needs – I just needed to know that it was in hand. But the fact that I’ve been sent a load of jargon then shows me that I’m dealing with someone that doesn’t know what they’re talking about and erodes my confidence.

I understand that not everyone can understand tech, or the intricacies of a pension or even explain a technical process within the business they represent. I hold my hands up and can say that I didn’t know all there was to know about Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes. But if I had a query about this and I had investigated the answer, I would always make sure I could at least explain it to the customer in a sentence that made sense.

For me not being able to translate something into plain English for the customer to be able to understand is not good service. If the customer has to come back to ask for a translation and then isn’t provided with one, that has the potential to escalate to a complaint. Plain English shows you know what you’re talking about and don’t need to hide behind jargon. It’s simple, but it does work. 

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