6 Things You Should Do Before Contacting Tech Support

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Apr 30, 2020

To say we live in interesting times is an understatement. Social distancing. Quarantines. Toilet paper panic buying.  

To put it bluntly, things are not normal out there. COVID-19 is impacting people on myriad levels and will continue to do so. During this challenging time, we must adjust our behaviors both as customers and companies, working together to get through it. That includes how we interact with our IT support teams. 

We’ve all had something go wrong with our computer, laptop, tablet or phone. It’s not an uncommon situation, with one study finding that the average employee loses a lot of time to IT-related issues. Whether it’s a mysterious error message, an intermittent blue screen, or routine freezing and hanging, our first instinct usually is to pick up the phone and call IT support.

That is, of course, the right thing to do… but before you make the call, here are 6 things you should do before contacting tech support. You’d be surprised out how these quick tips may help instantly resolve your problem, or make the process of getting help for your problem faster and smoother.

  1. Restart your computer

    Before submitting a ticket or initiating a conversation with tech support, ALWAYS restart your computer. You’d be surprised at just how many problems can be solved by simply turning your computer off and turning it back on again can do. By some estimates, more than half of reported IT-related issues can be resolved by a simple reboot to your machine.

  2. Retrace your steps

    Depending on the issue, it might be helpful to remember all the steps you did before arriving at the problem, so making a quick list of everything you did may help you when communicating your issue with tech support. If all you did was type in the web address then this tip isn’t necessary, but if you had to login to a site or drill down to get to the page with the problem then it might be a good idea to explain where you are coming from in regards to the issue.

  3. Gather as much information as possible

    Now, let’s be clear, you do not need to give the tech support agent your whole life story, but if you think it’s relevant then you should include that information. Your username, the date and time it occurred, the browser you are using, and the url of the page you are using are all potentially important to the tech support for understanding what is causing the issue, so make sure to have all of this ready before picking up the phone.

  4. Take screenshots if possible

    As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words, and a digital image is no different. Especially with our current health climate, virtual images can show support agents more than your descriptions can, and the pictures can show vital information that you might have missed.

  5. Keep it simple

    As you can probably imagine, a tech support agent gets a lot of emails every day. Multiple tickets mean multiple threads to follow, and while you might think dividing your issues into different tickets can help the problems get solved faster, it can often slow them down. Try to compile your complaints into one email unless you are told otherwise by the agent or support community.

  6. Make room for understanding

    All your technical issues may be priority 1 for you, but realistically, not all tickets are expedited to urgent status, so be prepared to ask your agent up front for a timeframe.  Remember, patience is key, if your request is not addressed in an appropriate timeframe then feel free to ask for updates.
Milner is a leading provider of office technology solutions that enhance business operations and keep data secure. From our extensive selection of secure printers and copiers to our full range of IT services, we can help you ensure the security of your most valuable assets. Contact us for more information.