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How to Submit a Support Request that Gets a Fast Reply

How to Get Fast Technical Support - Anywhere

This article doesn't just relate to getting help from Webstix but from any place you need tech support. I've been on both ends of tech support and I see how it works. There are common things that people forget to include and then we have to either first ask for those things or take a guess and ask them to confirm. Being on the same page really helps and it's a requirement for getting support.

If you're able to include these items when you send in your support request, you'll get faster support - almost guaranteed!

Here's why... sometimes support staff will scan through requests and pick off the easiest ones first. If they can spend a half hour and knock out 10 requests and get their list down in size, that helps them build momentum and tackle the support requests that will take more time. So what you want is to be in that first batch of support tickets to get nice, fast support. You want to be easy to answer and deal with.

You'll see that what is mentioned here is from the perspective of the support staff handling your request.

On with the tips!

1. Use a Subject Line That is Useful and a Good Summary

When looking at a list of tickets, you first look at the subject line to get an idea of what the issue is about. If the email subject is blank or says something generic like "Website" or "Good Morning" then you really have no idea what the ticket is about. That means you'll have to search through the ticket to first get an idea of what the issue is. This takes time.

Since you're writing the email or trouble ticket, you know what the issue is. It is then easy for you to sum up the issue in the subject line. That's quick. If you are the person reading the ticket, you have to first try to figure out what is being talked about, taking time - as I mentioned.

A good subject line, for example:

"Images on Staff Page are Not Showing Up"

which is better than this:

"Website"

Help yourself by helping the person helping you.

2. Include URLs

Instead of saying:

"Go to the home page, then on the first tab, click the third item down."

You can just give the actual page address:

Go here: https://www.yourdomain.com/an-exact-page.html

Every page on the Web has a unique address. Just paste in the URL from your address bar and it's automatically made a link in an email program.

3. List Tasks Separately

Take a minute to list each task separately - one per line or use a bulleted list. It's then very easy to see each task.

Maybe like this:

1. Please update this page:

https://www.yourdomain.com/an-exact-page.html

- Change the image of the bird at the top with the attached image named "birds-spring.jpg"
- Remove the third paragraph.
- Add the text in the attached document (new-text.doc) to the end of the page.

2. (next request)

(URL)

- (task 1)
- (task 2)

Doesn't that look easy to follow?

4. Don't Forget Attachments and Attach All of Them to the Same Email

What I do is, if I mention that there will be an attachment, I pause my writing and attach the file. I then continue where I left off writing. That way, I don't forget attachments very often. This helps me work more efficiently and my issues get taken care of faster.

Try to attach ALL attachments in the same email so that everything is together. It's not too difficult and if you take the time to learn this skill once, you'll have it going forward. It's worth taking the time to learn how to manage attachments and how to zip/compress files. It makes life easier. Ask your local geek how to do this.

5. Include Screen Shots or Maybe a Video

If you're able to grab a screen shot and mark it up or print a page, mark it up and scan it, then that helps a lot. We don't have to guess at which part of the page you're talking about... it's very clear. We've even had clients send in videos explaining what they want. You can post private videos on YouTube - you would just need to get us the link.

6. Include the Exact Error You're Getting

Try to copy and paste the exact error you're getting - or take a screen shot of it. This helps us immensely!

If we hear, "I got some error about the page. What do I do?" then we're not sure what the problem is, so we can't help you yet.

If we hear, "I'm getting a 404 error. What do I do?" then we have a LOT better idea of what's going on and we CAN help you.

7. Include Details We Might Need

To help you with your issue, we might need things like:

8. Search Our Online Knowledge Base

We might already have answers to what you're looking for in our Knowledge Base support area.

And, with some issues, you can Google (search) what is going on and sometimes find an answer - that's what we do. We're happy to help but if you really want a fast answer, there's a lot of good information out there - just a click away!

9. How to Recreate the Error

What did you do to get the error you are experiencing? Give us the steps along with your browser version so that we have a fighting chance of recreating the same error. When we can see it happening, it's much easier to diagnose and fix. When we have to try 100 things to try to reproduce the error, it's not quite as easy.

Conclusion

Getting good, fast support basically comes down to providing good information and doing your best to give as much information as possible. On the other side of things, we're often looking for a needle in a haystack. It really helps if the haystack is small, not large.

Again, this advice just doesn't apply to support with us but with life and in general. The more you can help the people helping you, the better help you get. It just makes sense. Use the tips here in life - when you go to the store or talk to people on the phone. We're all people. Being nice helps and it gets you good service back!

-Tony

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