In our computer-driven age, IT support providers play a vital role in maintaining and optimising the IT infrastructure of countless organisations. Much of this work goes unseen, with remote network monitoring and preventative maintenance carried out behind the scenes to prevent minor issues escalating into disruptive outages.
Despite the proactive nature of modern IT support, helpdesk support continues to act as a valuable additional safeguard, providing critical post-incident support to help businesses recover faulty or inoperative systems.
Since 2009, SolCo has been a leading IT support provider to businesses across Reading, Berkshire and the wider Thames Valley region. Our dynamic, in-house IT support team prioritises fast, focussed support that tackles issues at their root cause to prevent reoccurrence.
We know from our experience that speed of resolution is the top priority for our clients when they report an issue. While the onus is always on the IT support provider to orchestrate the swift recovery of critical systems, there are a few things you, as a business owner, can do to help the process along. In short, communication is key. By communicating pertinent details clearly and concisely, you’ll help your IT support provider troubleshoot the problem more efficiently. Here are 5 tips for effective communication with your IT support provider.
We understand how frustrating and stressful it can be when IT issues afflict business critical systems. Whether it’s the inventory management system you need to manage customer orders, the CRM system you use to nurture client relationships, your business’s website or email service, losing a vital IT function for even a few hours can result in significant loss of productivity and revenue.
No matter how aggravating the situation might be, it’s important to stay calm and think clearly. Remember that the helpdesk agent isn’t the cause of the problem, and is only there to make things better. By keeping a level head, and providing the right information, you’ll help your IT support provider get to the bottom of the issue and implement a lasting fix.
Try to Provide Context
Before you reach out to your IT support team, make a few brief notes of any peculiarities you noticed before or after the issue arose. Did an error message appear? Did any suspicious looking pop-ups that might signal the presence of malware emerge? Did your computer attempt to reboot for no apparent reason? Make a note of anything unusual and communicate these occurrences to your support team.
Then, try and provide some basic information that contextualises the issue. At what time did you first notice the issue? What operating system is your computer using? Have you done anything to troubleshoot the issue yourself? Does the fault appear to be intermittent?
Some of this information is likely to be requested by the helpdesk technician, so having key details ready will help expedite the process and give your IT support provider what they need to diagnose the problem.
Be Precise when You Explain the Issue
Try to explain the problem using clear, objective language that the helpdesk operator can relate to. Here at Solco, our support technicians gain an intimate working knowledge of the IT systems used by our clients, but many IT support providers outsource their helpdesk to a third party, which can often be located in another country. In such cases, the helpdesk operative won’t be working with the benefit of context, and may struggle to understand regional dialect terms and colloquialisms.
In such instances, try to stick firmly to the matter at hand: avoid digressing to unrelated topics like the weather or current affairs. Try to eliminate background noise where possible and make an effort to provide clear, concise answers when prompted for information.
Apply the same approach when using an online chat interface, and avoid unnecessary abbreviations and ‘text language.’
Screenshots can be a great way to capture and convey helpful information that’s difficult to articulate in writing.
On Windows, a screenshot can be taken using the print screen (PrtScn) button, located towards the top right of most keyboards. This copies the screenshot to your clipboard, allowing you to paste it using the Ctrl+V command. Alternatively, save the screenshot as a file by pressing the windows key and the print screen button simultaneously. This saves the screenshot in your pictures folder.
On a Mac, simply press shift+cmd+3 to take a full screenshot. Or hold shift+cmd+4, and drag your cursor across the portion of the screen you want to capture. MacOS saves all screenshots by default as a desktop file, and also copies them to your clipboard, allowing you to paste using the cmd+v shortcut.
Make Sure You Obtain a Ticket Number
IT support helpdesks almost always make use of a ticket management systems to manage and coordinate inbound support requests. Obtaining a ‘ticket number’ or ‘reference number’ (they go by various names) is essential, as this may need to be quoted if you make any follow-up calls to enquire about the status of a support request.
By noting and disclosing your ticket number when prompted, you avoid having to reiterate the details of the issue multiple times, as the ticket will come with all the relevant background details attached. This makes the support process more efficient and could help you arrive at a resolution more quickly.
When an IT service interruption strikes, your Reading or Berkshire business needs swift issue resolution in order to minimise impact on your service, and consequently, your bottom line. By communicating effectively, you equip your IT support team with the insights they need to recover your systems quickly and tackle issues at source to prevent a repeat episode.
SolCo IT Support Reading
Based in Reading, Solution Consultants provides IT Support, Telecoms, and Cloud solutions for SMEs across Berkshire and the Thames Valley. We get to know your business, challenges, and goals and deploy scalable and agile technology solutions that make a real difference.
We specialise in simplifying IT, making valuable technology more accessible than ever before. We believe technology has the power to transform your business and open access to new markets. Contact us today!