BEP 240 – Telephoning: Tech Support English (3)

Call Center English Technical Support

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on handling a tech support call in English.

A colleague calls you with a problem. You listen, you ask questions, and you figure out a solution. But you can’t fix the problem yourself – you need to explain to your colleague how they can fix it. It doesn’t matter how simple the solution is to you, you have to make it clear to the other person. And that can be challenging. Fortunately, you can learn some ways of making your instructions clear and effective.

In today’s lesson, we’ll listen to a tech support agent explain a solution to a computer user. But don’t worry if you don’t work in tech support. The techniques this agent uses are useful in any situation where you need to provide support or solutions to someone else. We’ll cover language that you can use to explain a solution in clear steps and explain the reasons for those steps. We’ll also look at how you can recap the steps in a solution, confirm that solution actually worked, and emphasize to someone how to deal with similar problems in the future.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin Nick and Stacey. Nick is a tech support agent, and Stacey’s a lawyer in New York who is having trouble uploading documents to the company server. Nick has discovered the cause of the problem and is now explaining to Stacey how to fix it.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick ask Stacey to do first?
2. Why does Nick ask Stacey to upload another PDF from her computer?
3. What should Stacey do next time she has a problem uploading a file?

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BEP 239 – Telephoning: Tech Support English (2)

English Call Center Tech Support

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on handling a tech support call.

Whether or not the words “solving problems” appear in your job description, there’s a good chance it’s something you do every day. And some days it seems like that’s all we do. So it’s important that we learn to do it well.

In today’s lesson, we’ll look at a tech support situation, but the techniques that we’ll learn can be applied to any situation. We’ll cover language for retracing a problem to the beginning and confirming what has already been done. We’ll also look at eliminating possible causes and suggesting alternative ones. And finally we’ll learn how to confirm the settings on someone’s computer or other device.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin Stacey and Nick. Stacey’s a lawyer in New York who’s been having trouble uploading documents to her company’s server in the U.K. where Nick works in tech support. Nick’s been trying to help Stacey solve her problem.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Nick use the question “right?” repeatedly near the beginning of the call?
2. Why does Nick ask Stacey whether she’s made changes to her operating system?
3. Nick suggests another possible cause. What is it related to?

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BEP 238 – Telephoning: Tech Support English (1)

Telephone Tech Support English

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on handling a tech support telephone call in English.

We’ve all been in this situation: The phone rings. Someone’s got a problem. They need our help to fix it. So we work through the issue with the person, trying to figure out exactly what’s happening, what the person wants to do, and how to help them do it.

But it’s not easy, especially on the phone, because we can’t see what the other person sees. And when someone has a problem, they’re usually frustrated about it, which can make our job even more difficult. So we need to stay calm and positive, keep a clear head, talk through the issue and find a solution that works. This situation is not unique to tech support. Everyone has to be able to help solve problems over the phone.

Today we’ll look at several techniques that can help you deal with these kinds of situation successfully. We’ll start by asking open-ended questions, confirming what the user is trying to do, and asking what they see as they try to do it. Then we’ll try requesting the user to do something as well as putting our instructions in simple terms. And finally we’ll practice asking someone to wait while we check something.

In the dialog, you’ll hear a conversation between Stacey and Nick. Stacey is a lawyer in the U.S. who’s having some trouble transferring files to her company’s server in the U.K. Nick is the British tech support agent trying to help Stacey solve her problem.

Listening Questions

1. At the start of the conversation, what question does Nick use to get Stacey to describe the situation?
2. Why does Nick ask Stacey to try opening the file?
3. What does Nick ask Stacey to do to help him check whether the problem is fixed?

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