How to Ask for Support
We’ve all been there. Whether it’s how to use a new software program or trying to figure out why your email stopped working, at some point in time we all need to contact a company and ask for support.Now, there’s a good chance prior to picking up the phone or completing an online support ticket, you’re just a little cranky already. After all, if things had been going right in the first place, you’d never be in this predicament. Why can’t things just work the way they are supposed to? Oops…a little private venting going on there. Forgive me.
So, you pick up the phone and are required to go through a series of button pushing to get to the proper department. You can’t help but feel that someone is pushing YOUR buttons. By the time Beverly picks up the phone (who has a very strong Asian accent for someone named Beverly), you’re ready to give her a piece of your mind!
But wait! Poor Beverly has no idea all the trauma you’ve been through today that has brought you to this phone call but she really does want to help. It’s what she gets paid to do and is probably pretty good at it. If you’ll just give her a chance. Likewise, if the support system implemented by the company is done through email, firing off a heavy-handed support ticket is probably not the best way to reach out and touch that support person who is “just doing their job.”
I realize the above is rather tongue in cheek so let’s talk about how to really ask for support:
1. Before you post a question or make a call, let your fingers do the searching. Many answers to your questions can be found by doing a simple Google/Yahoo! search. For example, if you get an Outlook error message, Google it. If nothing else, be sure to provide that detail (the error message) when asking for help.
2. Do you have a user manual? Whether printed or online, it’s expected that you take the time to review these documents prior to making a support call/contact.RTFM.
3. Have your FACTS ready (know your account name, pin #, basic stuff like that).
4. Make your subject line VERY clear. Things like “Help” or “This stuff sucks” is not helpful to anyone. Be specific and yet use brevity.
5. Be courteous. Enough said.
6. Understand the difference between support and training; the two are not synonymous.
7. Be patient. Someone else has probably waited just a little longer than you and now it’s their turn.
8. Remember, the more information you provide initially,the faster your question/issue can be resolved.