Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tips To Communicate Your IT Issues Effectively

It is inevitable that you will need to solicit the assistance of your IT service provider. They are a busy bunch, helping many people with frustrating problems. It’s not an easy job. When you ask for their help, there are some important things to bear in mind. Namely, they aren't mind readers. Provide as much important information in your initial request. Help them, help you. Here are a few steps to make your experience and theirs more streamlined and enjoyable.

Write an Informative Email Subject Line
Often, the IT department will get bombarded with requests ranging from those that require immediate response - “my computer is smoking and smells like burning plastic” - to those that can handle a one to two hour delay in response - “I want to send this 150 MB file but it just won’t upload to my email.” Using a detailed subject line will let them know the basics up front and help them prioritize the request appropriately.  For instance, the subject line “Installed ___ got error _____” will help them immediately know what your issue is all about.  Put simply, do not write “Computer problems!!!!!!!!!!” This is not helpful as it provides no real description of the problem.

Details, Details, Details
It is important that you include a detailed description including as much information as possible. Please include your OS, any steps you took, and any error messages. Error messages might not mean anything to you, but to an expert they are a source of useful information.

Be Frank
You want your issue resolved fast and so does your IT support team!  They are as busy as you are, so when outlining your issue, concentrate on the issue at hand and avoid including an excessive amount of nonessential detail.  Simply record the basic issue and send the message; if you include too much unnecessary detail, it lengthens the process and takes that much longer before tech support can resolve your issue.

In the end, you are all busy people and your IT services provider wants to help you quickly and efficiently. Help them do so by following the tips above!

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