How to Get Great Tech Support in Four Easy Steps

1) Rely on Yourself First

You might be surprised what you can solve quickly by taking advantage of the “self-help” resources most technical related companies offer. Check for flash (video) tutorials, a searchable knowledge base, or a customer forum. Very often the most common questions can be answered in just minutes if you look at those places first. It will save you time if you start there. Or try a quick Google search.

2) Use Proper Avenues

Always use the proper method to request support. If support has a help desk use it. You’ll generally get a quicker response than if you try to skip the support staff and go direct to the CEO of the company. The CEO will usually pass your request back to the help desk staff anyway. Escalate a problem only if it becomes necessary.

3) Details, Details, Details

The more detail you can provide about the problem you’re facing, the better. It will take longer for tech support to help you if they have to reply with basic questions and await your response, then you have to wait for another response from them.

Here are some details you may want to include for some common internet problems.

For a hosting related problem:

– Your domain name
– Your username
– What server you are on
– What problem you are having and what you did right before it happened
– What time it happened
– What internet browser you are using (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc)
– What operating system you are using (Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS X, Linux, etc)

For an email related problem:

– Your email address
– What email program you are using (webmail, or a program on your computer)
– The exact error message or problem in as much detail as possible
– When the problem began
– Any recent changes (for example, upgrade to your computer software or a new internet service provider)

For a shopping cart related problem:

– As detailed a description of the problem as possible
– If a particular category, product, or page, include a link to that page
– If a particular order had the problem, include the order number
– Try to recreate the problem and include the steps to recreate it
– Anything else that might be related to the issue

For a problem downloading a product you’ve purchased:

– What steps you took to try to download it
– What happened when you tried
– What operating system and browser you are using

4) Remember Your Manners

Be polite. The majority of the time whatever problem you are having is not the direct fault of the person you’re speaking to. Consider that it might be user error. No matter who ends up being at fault (you, them, a computer somewhere, a mysterious internet gremlin) you’ll normally get a faster and more helpful response if you don’t begin by making the person who is ready to help you defensive by being rude, swearing at them or “YELLING” in caps. They are on your side and want to help you. Be patient, allow them time to solve your problem, and treat them with respect.

Keep these four tips in mind and you’ll be able to resolve your technical web problems more quickly and with less frustration.