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Helpful Tips When Requesting Tech Support

This week’s tip is how to request tech support. I get a lot of support requests on a daily basis. These range from adding something to a website to fixing an email problem to connecting a website to Google Analytics. When a support request comes in via email, I read it, then decide if I have enough information to act on the request. Many times, I receive some but not all of the information needed to complete the support request. This means I have to reply back to the email and request additional info. This is the normal ebb and flow of support and it may take a few back and forth communications for me to understand the issue or request. Today, I read a great article on uncluterrer about being organized when requesting tech support to help speed up the tech support process. Here are the key points and tips when requesting support:

  1. Write out problem in detail. Be as specific as you can.
  2. Learn to take a screenshot. Screenshots can capture what you’re seeing on your screen and can help me understand your issue. If you can’t get a screenshot, write down any errors or messages you see.
  3. Have any relevant passwords, user names or login information on hand. If I need to connect your website to your Google Analytics account, I’ll need your login information to make this connection.
  4. Identify what browser and version you are using. Different browsers — Chrome, IE, Safari, Firefox — can all display or produce different results when viewing a website. It helps me to know what browser you’re using.
  5. Is this a new problem or has it happened before? If you can remember when you first saw the problem, it may help me pinpoint the cause.
  6. Can you reproduce the error? If you can reproduce the issue you’re seeing, let me know the steps you took to do so, as I’ll try to reproduce the error on my computer before debugging.
  7. What have you already done, if anything, to troubleshoot this issue? You can save me some time by sharing what you’ve tried to fix the issue.

I’m always happy to help add a new feature to a website or debug a problem and these tips will get us off to a fast start!

Image by Bes Z (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

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