Tech Support Showdown 2012
|Lenovo Tech Support Results
|Average Call Length||12 minutes|
|Phone Grade 2012||A|
|Web Grade 2012||C|
|Overall Grade 2012||B|
|Overall Grade 2011||B+|
|Overall Grade 2010||B+|
Lenovo has averaged a B+ over the past three years and introduced big updates to its online support site last year. Since then, the company has made minor adjustments and tweaks only. For instance, Lenovo Virtual Assistant, a tool for filtering users’ questions into prepackaged answers, has been rebranded as Lenovo Assisted Search.
In addition to our questions on how to enable multitouch gestures and improve battery life, we asked Lenovo how to add a second user’s fingerprints to our ThinkPad X230.
Web & Social Networking
When first browsing support.lenovo.com, users must choose to identify their device by product number, auto-detect or search. The auto-detect feature only works with Internet Explorer, but was fast and easily recognized our notebook with the quick install of a Lenovo-supplied application. Search was also straight-forward, and we found the landing page for ThinkPad X230 support with ease.
We tried Lenovo Assisted Search, but found the answers either confusing or unrelated. First, we asked about adding a new user’s fingerprints to our machine and couldn’t find an answer. Asking about three-finger swiping was equally fruitless. We asked Assisted Search about lengthening our notebook’s battery life and were immediately asked if we wanted to enable “battery stretch.” Selecting “yes” brought us to helpful information, but we were a bit thrown off by the “battery stretch” terminology.
Lenovo has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. We asked @lenovo about adding a new user’s fingerprints to our ThinkPad X230 and received a response less than 4 hours later telling us to direct our question to @lenovoforums. We sent the tweet to this forum Twitter account, and received a response three days later with a link to a video slideshow about the fingerprint scanner. After watching for 10 minutes, we got to the section on fingerprint enrollment.
We asked about enabling three-finger swiping using the support section of Lenovo’s Facebook page and received a response the next day by a support specialist named Hiro. Unfortunately, he confused three-finger swiping with the fingerprint reader. Luckily, another forum user going by the name of steady_yeti jumped in and helped.
Lenovo’s call center is located in Atlanta. We spoke to Hakeem around 3 p.m. EST. We asked him about enabling three-finger swiping, and he asked us for the four-digit machine type, which is located under the battery on the X230. With this information, we were put on hold for 2 minutes. When Hakeem returned, he guided us to the mouse settings and explained the multitouch gestures. The call lasted a total of 11 minutes.
On our next phone call to Serena at 10 p.m., we asked how to extend our ThinkPad’s battery life. She collected more information than our previous rep, including our phone number, address and whether the computer is company- or personally-owned. Then she put us on hold for 3 minutes. Upon Serena’s return, she helpfully took us step-by-step through changing a few power settings. The total call time was 12 minutes.
Tammy answered our last call (7 a.m.) within a minute. We asked her about adding a second user’s fingerprints to our ThinkPad X230. After collecting our machine type and serial number, she put us on a 2-minute hold while she investigated our question. When she returned to the call, she asked if she could remote into our computer, and we obliged. We entered a simple URL, submitted a six-digit code provided by our representative and installed the software.
Tammy had access to our computer in a little more than a minute, and immediately opened the ThinkVantage Fingerprint Software and explained that we could delete one of the 10 fingers we’d already scanned and enter the new user’s finger in its place. We mentioned that this option wasn’t ideal because we used our fingerprints to enter computer passwords as well, and asked about setting up a new user account. Tammy said that this was another option, but that the second user’s fingerprints would be invalid under the first account, and vice versa. We left the phone call understanding the steps needed to add an additional user’s fingerprints to our machine. The call lasted a little more than 13 minutes.
Lenovo continues to offer efficient and helpful phone support and features a robust online support presence. However, the site can be difficult to navigate; we were unable to find answers to two of our questions. Lenovo’s social media channels provided mixed results. We wish Lenovo would add live chat support, but the phone support reps offered fast and accurate help.