Microsoft has always given several numbers to determine how successful their operating systems are. You can look at total sales, total upgrades and many other factors. If you're Apple, you attempt to ruin Microsoft's success by making silly commercials encouraging users to simply spend $3,000 and switch to a Mac to save the "troubles of upgrading to Windows 7." Turns out, however, that if you did in fact make the switch to 7, either by upgrading or buying a new machine, then you're beating the odds!
The measurement of success is in: the Microsoft service help line is receiving less calls from people with problems on their Windows 7 machines. VP of Customer Support, Barbara Gordon, had this to say:
"Overall we are finding our call center volume is down significantly more than we expected ... What we have found is we are seeing far more take-up of self-service ... forums and Twitter to get responses
To be fair, it didn't hurt that Microsoft took preemptive necessary steps to avoid troubles by implementing an online forum called Microsoft Answers and the Microsoft Helps feed on Twitter. But still, for an operating system that was so troublesome that you should shell out a month's salary, having less problematic calls is very commendable.
To date, 60,000 solutions have been verified via MS Answers and a team of seven techs are spending their entire work week on Twitter to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible, by directing people where to get a detailed answer or by answering the simple stumped users' questions.
Something that is overlooked, however, is the impact that these internet-based help desks are having on the community. Normally, thousands of users would call in with a similar problem. Today, all you have to do is subscribe to their Twitter feed and just ONE user can report a problem that thousands will now have an answer to.
It's really like a customer megaphone ... If I can help myself without having to go to the mall and sit at a geek bar, I will be happier.
Gordon is making reference to the Genius Bars available at Apple retail stores.
One key problem Microsoft was able to resolve via Twitter was the video driver issue that users were experiencing during the installation process of Windows 7, where it would freeze your system at 62 percent completion. The fix? A script titled "Fix it" that would take care of the problem automatically. In fact, it has been used more than 35,000 times.
Talk about technology helping technology, eh? It really comes down to technology helping people. Were you one of the people who went to these communities to find help instead of calling? We want to hear your success (or not so successful) story! Comment below!