We’ve all been there – you’re slammed and your technology doesn’t seem to grasp that you don’t have time for sudden glitches. You’re late for a meeting and of course now the printer isn’t working. The file you spent hours on yesterday is nowhere to be found today. Oh, and the report you’re trying to pull isn’t giving you the results you wanted. Worse, you can’t even get logged in!
Those issues are more than frustrating, and by the time you reach out to IT support, you are already overwhelmed. Why won’t any of this stuff work? You call the Service Desk or send in a ticket to support, and the technician you’re speaking with has a several questions for you. This situation can be really frustrating to be in, so we’re going to share 8 tips that can help you get the very best help from your IT support person all while reducing your own frustration. For the technician or engineer to work efficiently they are going to need a few things from you. Knowing this ahead of time will help when you ask for IT support, our desire is that you as the client have a better overall experience.
We encourage you to remember these important points as we dive in to these technical tips:
- The technician or engineer really wants to help you. The reason they got into IT because they love solving problems, and their goal is to help.
- Like several other industries, most IT departments are currently understaffed. The technician responding to your ticket or answering your call is most likely overwhelmed and overloaded.
- Remember, the technician who is helping you did not cause the problem. Be mindful that you don’t vent to him or her as if the issue is their fault. Making their day miserable isn’t going to help them find a solution to your problem.
The Following 8 Tips will Greatly Help Your Technician Identify and Resolve Your Problems:
1. Error Messages
Take note of any error messages you receive. Even better, TAKE A SCREENSHOT of the error message to share with the technician helping you. Maybe your system popped up a cryptic message like “Error 0z6131310 – OST not found?” Little pieces of information like that can be really helpful when diagnosing the issue, especially if you can tell or show them exactly what it said.
2. Series of Events
What was happening just before you noticed the issue? “I opened a new browser just before receiving the message.” If there is something that you can do to repeat the issue, that’s helpful.
What time did you first notice the issue? Timestamps and other specific pieces of data are important in helping a technician review logs behind the scenes. Logs always include a multitude of entries, so knowing where to look can narrow down what the issue and can really help the technician find clues. For example, if you had trouble emails, tell the technician the time you sent the emails.
4. Help in Real Time
Being able to troubleshoot an issue that happened in the past gets harder the more time passes. Reaching out while you’re experiencing the issue is extremely helpful, as the technician can see the issue in real time.
5. Intentional Scheduling
When sending in a request for help be sure to let the technician know how they can best reach you and what your availability is. Give them a time frame and contact so you can cut down on the back and forth communication and they can better help resolve your issue more efficiently.
6. Specificity Matters
The more specific, the better. Technicians are great with the symptoms. Where is the issue? What is it doing? What should it be doing? Is the whole site down, or is it only you? For example, if you can’t get your computer to print but others can, that’s very helpful to know.
7. The Urgency
Letting the technician know how the issue is affecting you and how urgent it is can be crucial for time sensitive projects. For example, “The issue is preventing me from running payroll and I need it resolved by 5:00 otherwise people won’t get paid.” Or, “This is important but not very urgent, I’d like to resolve it within the next week.” Letting them know how urgent the issue is and how it’s affecting your tasks, or how stressed you are equips them to better approach the issue.
8. We’re All Human
Last but certainly not least, remember that the technician or engineer on the other end of the line is a human too. Everyone deals with some level of stress at home or work, and your IT support person is no different. Believe it or not, your kindness will go a long way in their ability to help you! And remember, they Really love to help!