There is nothing more frustrating than things not working as they should. When 90% of our lives are automated, even 5 minutes of struggle seems like an eternity.
Automation rules the world around us. How would youremember EVERY meeting if your calendar notifications stopped working? Or worse imagine that your email doesn’t automatically download new mail, and you have to manually refresh it. And while these things might seem tribal, a split second without email can lead to a full-blown panic.
When a problem arises, even something as simple as a password change, you want help quickly.
There are a couple of simple troubleshooting tips that could get you back in business more quickly.
Here are 3 ways to get faster IT support when troubleshooting with your IT department or outsourced managed IT service provider. Because we all know, faster is always better.
3 Best Ways to Get Faster Troubleshooting Support
1. Clearly Describe the Problem/Situation
One way to get quicker support is to be clear on what the issue is. Don't be so general when describing what the computer is doing or not doing.
For example, if you are having issues with email, don't just say “I'm having issues with email.” Be specific about exactly what you are experiencing.
Scenario: You're having email issues.
The Specifics: Can you send and not receive? Are you only receiving internal emails? Are you not able to send emails to a particular person? Is anyone else having the same issue? Have any changes been made recently?
The more specific the information you give, the better an engineer will be at figuring out the problem. Communicating the situation clearly and accurately is a major time saver.
2. Report the Issue While It’s Happening or Document It
If your IT provider can’t see the problem while it's happening, it's much harder to find a solution. When possible, contact your IT department AS the problem is happening so they can see it in action, and troubleshoot accordingly.
Just like your car stops making the funny noise as soon as you take it to the mechanic and he has to keep it for days, troubleshooting your computer when it isn’t “doing that thing” is going to take MUCH longer.
If they can't see the problem, they will need to spend time replicating the problem to find the trigger. The process of replication can be difficult and may result in lengthening the time of resolution.
If the problem is intermittent, make sure to write down any steps that will help replicate the issue. If there are any errors, take screenshots so that it can be reviewed. That little error message tells the engineer a LOT about the problem.
3. Be Ready for Help When You Request Support
We’ve all been there, we need help, but don't have time to deal with it right this second.
If that’s the case, keep detailed notes of the issue(s). Then when you have time to request help, you’ll be ready.
Here is a quick checklist of what "ready for help" means:
- Ensure that you have internet access in case the engineer needs to access your system remotely.
- Set aside some time when you’ll be able to work with the engineer without interruption. Be available for questions that may identify the issues.
3. Communicate your expectations clearly. Being on the same page as the engineer will save time and added frustration.
Troubleshooting can be frustrating and downright annoying, but the tips above can help you have a much better experience getting IT support. Your IT team wants your issues resolved just as much as you do. These tips can help minimize the frustration and time for both of you.
Using these tips can help make your next troubleshooting experience smoother and more importantly, quicker. Troubleshooting is a team sport, make sure you are holding up your end of the load.
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Related: What Exactly is IT Support?