I was talking to a friend the other day, and he was going into one of his usual rants about education and how andragogy is a beneficial aspect of adult learning. When he said this, I remember thinking, “How can he possibly think that Boy George influenced adult education?”
Obviously, I had confused his term with androgyny, but oftentimes, your customers experience these same types of thoughts. They have no idea what some of the terms mean that technical support communicates to them, so unless they are like my brother and walk around with an electronic dictionary, they may need a simmered down version. To get your customers through the communication divide, I’ve included some of the most commonly used technical terms that they encounter.
Cookie: We all tend to think of chocolate chips and Oreos (at least I used to) when the word cookie surfaces, but as a technical reference, a cookie is simply data that records what you do and your preferences for web sites that are visited.
Malware: Malware is the shortened form of malicious software, and these pesky programs, software, and code secretly invade computers with the intention of being destructive to the system. Malware often takes the form of trojan horses, worms, spyware, and viruses that can’t be cleaned with Lysol!
Botnet: Malware and botnets go hand-in-hand. Cyber predators use malware to unknowingly control your computer and turn it into a bot. When the predators amass a group of computers to run the malicious automated processes caused by the malware infections, the infected computers form what is termed a botnet.
Cloud computing: Cloud computing involves providing hosted services over the Internet. One of its advantages is that it makes it easier to maintain various files, software programs, and other applications that would otherwise be accessible through physical media. As the technology emerges, hopefully, there won’t be much rain in the cloud!
TCP/IP: No one ever remembers that TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. These two protocols were derived to provide computers with a common language that can be shared across the Internet on all operating system platforms. Easy enough.
P2P: P2P is an acronym for “Peer to Peer.” Computers are able to connect to each other over the Internet to share files with the help of P2P software. Imagine Sony’s dismay when they found out that people were actually searching for the term P2P as opposed to PSP.
Encryption: Encryption scrambles information as it is sent over the Internet so that only someone with the correct decoding key can view the information. Although properly encrypted data is reliably safe, if encryption worked perfectly 100% of the time, cyber predators would be searching Monster for employment opportunities.
Power Cycle: Having once worked in technical support, I was always surprised to learn that many people had no idea what it means to powercycle a device. I presume that they equated the word cycle to a bike and wanted to grab whatever wasn’t working and go running with it. Who knows. Power cycle simply means to turn a device off and back on!
WYSIWYG: “What you see is what you get.” This term is a spartan as it gets, but luckily, WYSIWYG software allows you to get an accurate depiction of the final output of work that is being completed while editing. It’s most often included in simple web site and photo editing.
You want to ensure that your technical support team is able to resolve issues while effectively communicating any instructions and troubleshooting suggestions. It can become frustrating to your customers if they are not aware of the technical lingo that is used which creates an unwanted support scenario for you. Personally, I thrive off the “Dummies” book series because I was able to get through C++ with the help of one, but this may not be the easy way out for others!
For additional simmered down terms, feel free to visit 24HourSupport.