As a manufacturer and distributor sales rep I get to play a lot of different roles.
Getting my dealer clients to buy stuff is great, but my favorite is probably helping them trouble shoot their problems.
I don’t have to put on coveralls and get dirty on one of their jobsites (at least, not yet!). Almost all of my troubleshooting I get to do over the phone or via email. Sometimes both.
Doing technical troubleshooting for installing dealers is actually more pleasant than dealing with end users. I have a lot of sympathy for call center technical support specialists.
With end users, more often than not they don’t have a clue what you’re asking them, and their compliance (“is the power cord plugged into the wall?”) is poor.
With technical dealers, we’re already on the same page. We have the same vocabulary, and more often than not they’ve already eliminated all the obvious possibilities on their own.
Most of the time they’ve confirmed that the power cord is indeed plugged in before they call me.
In general, I enjoy the fact that my dealers have a high degree of technical competence.
There’s just one exception.
Every week I get at least one phone call or email to let me know that they’re having trouble with our web services.
The query is usually something to the effect of “I can’t prices or availability” or “this product is showing up as ‘N/A IN YOUR PRICE LIST!”
My response is always the same: “please take a screen cap and send it to me so I can see what you’re seeing.”
I do that even though I already know what the problem is. I always gently let them know:
“You’re not logged in.”