lorax - 11:41 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)
A good tech support specialist can solve the problem. A GREAT tech support specialist solves the problem AND leaves the caller feeling like they were important and well taken care of.
I think wheel is dead on with regards to your playing a game with the customer. I spent a number of years as a tech support specialist myself and I know how frustrating it can be for the tech. But I also know how frustrating it is for the person needing help. The stuff we think of as simple is sometimes completely lost on the caller. Patience (beyond normal) can pay off in a big way.
And I agree that a phone call would have been the best solution. The nuances of a conversation get lost in email support. I'd much rather have them on the phone to discuss the situation because then I can ask rapid questions and zero in on the issue. AND if I'm offering the support, you can be sure I also offer an upsell channel to make it worth my while - like a service contract - so it doesn't hurt to spend a bit of time on an non-paying customer.