Is Arguing with your Tech Company Healthy?

Healthy Communication Means Occasional Disagreements

Tech Argument

Tech Argument

Have you ever had a good argument with your tech support company? Was it because they weren’t doing what you asked for? Or, was it because they were doing exactly what you asked for?

Permit me an analogy. If you go to the hospital you, like most people, probably understand your role: describe your symptoms as accurately as possible. While you are doing that, the doctor is playing his role: take your symptoms and filter them through years of study and experience and draw a conclusion about the underlying issue. He may need to gather more information through additional tests. Then he or she comes back with a plan of action to get you well again. And, at the very end there are usually some instructions from your doctor that you are to follow.

Your relationship with your tech company works in a very similar way. We are living in a time of mind blowing technical complexity that’s increasing continually. Your tech company’s job is to navigate that complexity at the macro level and know your business well enough to prescribe the right solutions for you. They also need to know the complexity at the micro level and be able to make it actually work and stay working. It’s forgivable if they don’t always answer “Shouldn’t this just work?” with all of the details.

But, back to the doctor analogy. The general public can become much more capable at self-diagnosis thanks to the many medical resources available online. We don’t just call to say that we have a stomach ache. We know that pain from pressing and releasing suddenly is a symptom of appendicitis and not an ulcer. I’ve even experienced a conversation with a doctor where he changed his initial diagnosis to match mine after a quick comparing of notes. And, while it’s wonderful to be more informed, imagine walking into the doctor’s office and having him standing there with a scalpel. “And where would like me to operate?” is not a question I want to answer for him!

So, talk to your tech company. Listen to them and check to see if they are understanding the big picture as well as the individual issues. The overall tech knowledge of each of their clients is different and so that conversation will be different every time. And, watch for the signs of any healthy relationship: occasional disagreement. A tech company that always agrees with you 100% is not necessarily doing their job any more than the doctor with the scalpel and an open mind.

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