Well, in our dynamic life full of fast cars, fast food and fast way of living our desire of fast and accurate service support comes somehow natural. More as a want than a real must, almost in any field in our everyday live we demand on it as soon as possible when we need it.
In this article I would like to give you some tips based on my personal experience in the IT support service field how to get better and more accurate (even faster) technical support from your web host, local ISP or any other IT company.
Every normal support request is born when an issue occurs. So, I believe that some tips about how to define the issue in your support request will be a good start. Even if you believe that some of the following steps and information are not significant for your case very often they may be vital in order to receive prompt assistance.
1. Define the problem
The better you describe your issue, the faster it will be resolved. Providing as much as possible information to the support team will definitely save a lot of time that is usually required for additional questions and elaboration. Thus, I believe that the following points are quite important:
- What were you doing when your issue occurred?
- What is the exact error message that your application/program is giving you?
- How the issue can be recreated?
- What are your username and password (if any are required)?
- Is it happening all the time, randomly or on regular bases?
- What software you are using connected with the provided service?
- Which are the latest changes that you have performed?
Be honest on the last point – even if you have messed up the things, providing accurate information will definitely help the support team to fix or revert the changes for you.
If your ISP provides phone support or any other kind of live support it might be a good idea to have the answers of all these questions in advance before contacting them.
Another good advice is to keep your support request as tidy as possible. Well summarized and clearly stated queries are usually serviced faster.
2. Be patient and polite
We are all in a hurry – remember that.
As soon as your support request is submitted even the best support team in the world will need some time to investigate your case. Thus, even if you are in a great hurry you should provide the support team with an appropriate time to do their job.
It is important to mention that very often issues that can be resolved in a minute may take more time than expected. You should keep in mind that sometimes your case is simply beyond the scope or access level of the support representative that you have contacted. In such cases, even your easy-to-resolve issue can not be handled by the support representative and should be escalated.
An issue that is escalated usually requires additional time to be carefully revised by the appropriate personal. The reason for this delay is not directly connected with your very case but the additional time is required for further investigation of the real cause of your issue. You do not want to have the same problem reoccurring every day or week, do you? The service providers do not want this as well. Thus, it might be a good idea to give them some extra time to resolve the real cause of the issue, not only your problem if you have been informed that your case has been escalated.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to be aware of the company normal time frame for which an issue is usually handled. For example, if it is clearly stated that all support request will be serviced in a period of 20 minutes or 24h it is pointless to send several support request during this period. In the worst case this will just slow down the support team and their reply. If your issue is really urgent a possible solution in this matter may be to contact another department of the company that is also related to your case which normally handle support request in a smaller time frame.
Say it right.
You should know that normally a technical support person handle about 40-100 support request per shift. As we mentioned above we are all in a hurry, thus, you can imagine how many people define their issue as an “urgent”. So, it might not be a good idea to use phrases as “ASAP” or “Urgent”. They are more irritating for the support team, than a real help for you.
If you really need to be done as quickly as possible, simply said it right:
“I have 2 hours before meeting my boss and present my project – please help me to resolve it before that”
This is pretty much enough for anyone to get the picture.
3. If you are not satisfied with the support assistance
In some cases you might not be satisfied by the support assistance or it might not have met your expectations. If this happen you should be aware of several simply things that might help you to get better service or compensation, if suitable:
1. Make sure that your request is serviced by the company policy and you are not requesting something that is clearly stated as a third party or not directly related matter.
– If your issue is directly related to the service that the company provides a support may not be provided. In such cases you should refer to the appropriate organization/specialists that usually handle such matters (even if they are a third party contractor or organization/personal). You really should not blame your ISP for not servicing third party related problems – it is simply beyond their scope.
2. Make sure that your issue is not considered as an exclusive service for which an additional fee is applied.
– If an additional fee is applied for issues like yours by the company policy it will not suitable to demand this service for free in your support request. Usually, the support team will not be able to make an exception for you simply because in most cases such decision is beyond the representative level of authority.
3. If you believe that your issue is not handled properly.
– There might be several reasons for this:
- The support representative has done his/her best, however, it has not been enough – in such case you can simply request your case to be revised by another member of the support team or to be escalated to a department/team supervisor/manager.
- In case that your issue is considered as a third party related problem or additional fee is applied for further assistance (check point 1 and 2 above).
- Your issue is related to an application/software or a configuration setting on your end which interfere the normal service operation of the company product.
Whatever is your case, you should know that rude behavior will not help you at all. In case that you really would like to complain about the support level of service you should not use offensive words or directly express your opinion to the support personal – it will definitely will not resolve your issue or help you. It will be a good idea if you simply request your case to be brought to the attention of the department supervisor/manager where you will be able to share your opinion.
Things are pretty much the same in case that you would like to cancel your service or need a refund for a certain service. A refund request is usually beyond the support team authority and they will not be able to provide you with such even if you insist on it. Thus, you can clearly state that you would like to be escalated to the appropriate personal that has the authority for such decision and assistance.
4. Some general tips
Very often an issue may be resolved without even asking the support team for assistance. More than 80% of the most common problems are listed in the FAQ and Tutorial sections. Furthermore, additional 10% of the issues may be resolved by simple Google search.
Think before asking questions – this is very important note because if you are always asking for one and the same thing or constantly forgetting your username/password you will certainly go to the bottom of anybody’s priority list no matter how urgent is your issue.
Although most cases are unique I hope that this basic guide will help you to improve your support request and receive better quality service. Here at TMDHosting.com we have developed a easy-to-use ticketing system which provides our customers with fast and efficient way to contact our technical support — we understand that the support service is of a great importance to you:
With extremely straight forward steps you can submit your inquiry in just 3 clicks without any unnecessary link references and knowledgebase articles — check how easy it is here!