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articles > From the section: tips

How to help tech support help you quicker.

Susan Finch | July, 2013 |

For those of you who have to regularly or even periodically contact tech or IT support via email, there are some ways you can help them solve your issues quickly and with fewer back and forth emails. 

It's similar to walking into a restaurant hungry.  Ordering: "I'd like lunch today." When actually you were interested in the daily vegan specials that were gluten free due to your intolerance, and you'd like a vegan beer to go with it.

Do you go into Starbucks and ever order "1 coffee" without being bombarded with at least three questions in rapid succession?

Until someone launches the "mindApp," we support people are stuck asking you the questions to get in your heads the old-fashioned way without assumptions.

This may seem like a lot of detail, but try this – they'll thank you and help you quicker:

Instead of:

Help, the site doesn't work

or

I tried to make a post and it's broken

or

I can't make it work, fix the site.

Try to add these minimal additional details:

Are you logged in as a specific user?  If so, what is the login?
Which browser are you using: Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari
Mac or PC?
Operating system – name and VERSION
What URL had the issue?  Copy and paste this from your browser.

Getting down to issue even more:

Take them through the story of how you arrived at the page that caused you the issue:

"First I went to home, clicked login, then logged in and was taken to (URL). Then, I clicked to "ADD" and filled in the form. I hit submit and then I got an error."

Did you receive an error?  If yes,can you get a screen capture to include or copy/paste the error into the email?  What did you do BEFORE the error?

To say, "I went and created a listing, submitted and got an error." isn't enough.

Better to screen capture (it's on most keyboards "PrntScn" button) using back button before you submitted, or giving more details, "copied and pasted the description from Word into the description field…then I submitted and I received a JavaScript error that said, 'blah' " or similar. 

There is a handy tool I use to capture the screen, crop it and save it or copy/paste into a support email.  Here is a tool I use a lot fo this purpose: xpsnipping.codeplex.com/   The one drawback I've seen with this tool is that it doesn't play nicely if you have QuickBooks open at the same time. Some sort of conflict, same with Camtasia Studio. Have to close one to use the other properly.

This helps tech support quickly attempt to recreate the problem, check logs and other targeted detective work. It also saves going back and forth where they keep asking you for more info and have to wait for your response.

Tech and IT support can only help you based on the information you give them.  Leaving the emotion out of it and not saying, "Why can't it do…" stick to the issue you are having – unable to do something or view something.  Stay on topic and address other questions and concerns in a separate email.

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Commpro, LLC has been around since before there was an internet. We started as a public relations and advertising firm and expanded into website design and hosting in 1995. In 1999 we began to develop and expand our CMS. 

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