Today, JustAnswer is localized in five countries with partner sites for the UK, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Mexico. But it was Germany where we first expanded outside of the United States. Lorenz, a Tech Expert for both the U.S. and Germany sites, understands what it takes to work with customers from different backgrounds, with different expectations, and in different languages.
We asked Lorenz to share his background, experience working with different customers, and best practices for the Expert community.
JustAnswer: Thanks for chatting with us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lorenz: I am originally from East Germany. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong curiosity for technology and consider myself to be a ‘hands-on’ guy. I taught myself how to build computer systems like the ZX Spectrum in the 80’s, Intel 286er in the 90’s, and all sorts of systems today. Outside of JustAnswer, I work with small businesses to set up and manage their computer networks and devices.
The other big part of my life is music. I’ve been an audio mastering engineer since 2003 and I run my own business (www.xarcmastering.com). And when I can, I also DJ at events throughout Berlin and Vienna.
JustAnswer: You are quite a busy man.
Lorenz: I honestly cannot think of a single day in the last 20 years where I was bored. There is always something to be done or new to learn. I am rather a workaholic. I do try to take some time off but that “time off” often leads me back to music.
And before I forget, I’ve also worked for a German TV station from 1998 to 2003 as a video cutter/director for the daily news show.
JustAnswer: You have a lot of experience helping customers from both the U.S. and Germany. What are some of the differences you’ve noticed between American and German customers?
Lorenz: I work well with both types of customers but there is a big difference between the two. With German customers, I could schedule a secure remote assistance session hours or sometimes days in advance. American customers, on the other hand, usually want it all to be done right away and can get upset if they don’t hear back within minutes.
Another difference is that the question volume on the U.S. site is much higher than it is on the .DE site. I try my best to help as many customers as I can but that's hard to do on the U.S. site.
JustAnswer: Speaking of premium services, does Secure Remote Assistance allow you to better help customers with their computer issues?
Lorenz: I think secure remote assistance is the best way to solve computer issues. Most customers in the Computer category are not very tech-savvy and you can easily go in circles trying to explain how to troubleshoot something in Q&A. In my experience, customers start to get frustrated pretty quickly when that happens. By using secure remote assistance, I can quickly troubleshoot the issues and I often find other issues, outside of the original question, that I fix for them.
JustAnswer: Tech is more susceptible to bad news questions than most categories so as a Tech Expert, do you have any advice for Experts in any category in delivering bad news?
Lorenz: Customers don't want to get stuck with an answer that shows no way out. I would never give an answer where I can't show a 'way out.' For example, if a device is seriously broken and can't be fixed online, I would tell the customer what to expect, look for some local repair shops, give an estimate of the cost, find any available coupons, and even send driving directions. I think this same approach can be applied to questions in any category. There is always a solution and by taking the extra step, you are showing that you really want to make the customer happy. This is what it comes down to in the end, because happy customers are returning customers.
We want to thank Lorenz for sharing his story with us. If you'd like to read more Expert stories, click here.