Customer Support

Went to the customer’s site with fellow engineers from overseas.
It was a system demonstration packed with customer training and market research.
As usual, I was the translator and the Japanese engineers who are shy in front of foreign guest (blue eyes) suddenly gets very talkative by my presence….as usual.
After more than 2 hours of inquiries and malfunctions and fixture, I was tired and starting to feel like wrapping up this meeting quickly and get the hell out of there. Then came another inquiry from the customer about the system configuration. I, without any clear idea, gave him a false information “This should be configured in this way” and was quickly adjusted by this brilliant engineer, ashamed and asked for help from my fellow. Somebody should invent a “should” counter to check the authenticity of a person’s remark.
And the system malfunctioned again, this time for no apparent reason. I almost insisted on saying “This should be OK the next time you power up the unit” but the fellow guy went into a time-exhausting yet thorough system fix without any hesitation. While we were waiting, nobody in the room continued the business talk, just quietly gazed at the clock. The last Shinkansen’s time was approaching.
When he came up with the fixed system and showed the customer everything was working fine, then I knew it was him who did the right thing. Then I found out that mess was caused by my careless configuration on the system…. Again, I was ashamed.
One lesson : Never put priority on running away from the site, never focus too much on answering the question and let the case closed.
To be honest, I do not like focusing too much on serving the customer’s direct need..sometimes they themselves don’t know what they want, and I cannot see it while trying to make them pleased as they comment. But this idea of trying to wrap up the issue too quickly will do more harm than that…