For those of you who have to regularly or even periodically contact tech or IT support via email, there are some ways you can help them solve your issues quickly and with fewer back and forth emails.

It’s similar to walking into a restaurant hungry.  Ordering: “I’d like lunch today.” When actually you were interested in the daily vegan specials that were gluten free due to your intolerance, and you’d like a vegan beer to go with it.

Do you go into Starbucks and ever order “1 coffee” without being bombarded with at least three questions in rapid succession?

Until someone launches the “ReadMyMindApp,” we support people are stuck asking you the questions to get in your heads the old-fashioned way without assumptions.

This may seem like a lot of detail, but try this – they’ll thank you and help you quicker:

Instead of:

Help, the site doesn’t work
I tried to make a post and it’s broken
I can’t make it work, fix the site.

Try to add these minimal additional details:

  • Are you logged in as a specific user?  If so, what is the login?
  • Which browser are you using: Chrome, IE, Firefox, Edge, Safari
  • Mac or PC? or phone/tablet?
  • Operating system – name and VERSION
  • What URL had the issue?  Copy and paste this from your browser.
01:25 +Shawndra Higgins brings up a great idea: Tech Support Folder
01:45 Naming Conventions for your screen captures that make sense
02:40 “We need to speak the same language”
03:20 Why support keeps asking questions
04:58 What Browser are you using?
05:20 What Platform are you using?
05:45 What were you doing? We need to know the story.
06:57 Try to not use “broken” use more descriptive words
08:00 Back it up and scale it down, yes even a Geekspeak Guides needs to be reminded to talk normal
08:35 +Lany Sullivan stayed calm and checked with the developer
09:11 Web developers are passionate
10:10 +Lee Lyte Sometimes it’s as simple as refresh (F5)
11:10 Developers need to remember to use words everyone can understand
12:00 Why Internet Explorer might not display a website right
13:20 What happens with sites in browsers…why it might not work
15:50 Mid-show recap
16:50 Each issue should have it’s own email with descriptive subject title
17:50 Keep it simple
18:51 What do errors look like
19:20 What is the URL of the place where there are issues? Copy/paste, please.
20:00 +Denver Prophit Jr. suggest Snagit to screencapture
21:00 Capture a video of your screen
22:00 Or take images of your screen and easily add text
23:50 +Sheryl Loch with +Hot Blog Tips provided a video showing how to screen capture
24:20 Full Recap how to submit a support ticket


Getting down to issue even more:

Take them through the story of how you arrived at the page that caused you the issue:

“First I went to home, clicked login, then logged in and was taken to (URL). Then, I clicked to “ADD” and filled in the form. I hit submit and then I got an error.”

Did you receive an error?  If yes, can you get a screen capture to include or copy/paste the error into the email?  What did you do BEFORE the error? If you do not know how to take a screenshot, there are many apps. I use Snip & Sketch on my Windows PC. Everyone has their favorites. YouTube it for the how to if you do not know how to do this. Save the screenshot where you can find it in case you have to upload rather than simply pasting it into a message.

To say, “I went and created a listing, submitted and got an error.” isn’t enough.

Better to screen capture (it’s on most keyboards “PrntScn” button) using back button before you submitted, or giving more details, “copied and pasted the description from Word into the description field…then I submitted and I received a JavaScript error that said, ‘blah’ ” or similar.

This helps tech support quickly attempt to recreate the problem, check logs and other targeted detective work. It also saves going back and forth where they keep asking you for more info and have to wait for your response.

Tech and IT support can only help you based on the information you give them.  Leaving the emotion out of it and not saying, “Why can’t it do…” stick to the issue you are having – unable to do something or view something.  What did you expect it to do? What is the goal? Stay on topic and address other questions and concerns in a separate email.