Questions You Should be Prepared to Answer When Contacting Support

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We love hearing from our clients on the support desk! We understand, however, that you really don’t want to have to call us, EVER. Of course, it is not that you don’t like us, it is just that if you are calling it means something is not working properly and you need it fixed. The problem is causing you to fall behind, or making you stop working altogether, and you would just really rather everything work right the first time. Since we know that calling us wasn’t the first thing on your list of things to do today, we really want to get your problem fixed quickly so you can get back to work.

Often we will ask the same few questions as we are trying to determine the issue. If you have answers to these questions readily available, we can get your issue fixed and get you on your way as soon as possible.

Did You Reboot?

About 80% of computer issues can be fixed with a simple reboot of the computer. This is why it is often our first “go to” when trying to fix your issue. During the course of using your computer applications can get stuck, processes can hang up and errors can be generated in the background. A reboot clears all of this junk out of the system and refreshes it. Clearing out these applications, processes, and errors will resolve the problem most of the time. This goes for any device too, not just a computer. Rebooting a printer, phone, modem, server or firewall can all resolve various issues. If you take care of the reboot prior to calling, it will save you several minutes during the call when we ask you to reboot it.

What Were You Doing When It Happened?

You may be surprised by how many people are unable to answer this question. Typically we want to know the exact steps you took and the exact things you clicked when the problem occurred. The reason we ask is so we can try to duplicate the issue on your machine, or even on our own machine to see if the problem is limited to your system or if the problem is more widespread. If we are unable to duplicate the problem, it is extremely hard to fix. We can’t see the problem actually occur, which makes it hard to determine its cause. Also, we would be unable to tell if whatever we did actually fixed anything since there aren’t steps to replicate and verify if the problem has been resolved.

How Often Does the Problem Occur & What Time?

I once had a user complaining about his Internet Explorer giving him error messages. He was always unable to replicate the problem while I was on the system, but through digging a little deeper I was able to determine the problem only occurred first thing in the morning. Through this revelation, I was able to determine that error was being created overnight while maintenance was being performed on his system. Without this further knowledge, I may have never been able to resolve this issue. Another reason we want to know how often and the times that the issue occurs is that we can look at the logs in the computer and find what programs are providing errors during that time frame. Making note of the time your issue occurs can really assist the service desk in determining the cause of your problem, and help us fix it so much faster.

Can You Tell Me The Exact Error Message?

A lot can be determined by the text of an error message. We understand that you aren’t able to call us right away when you see an error message, and you may need to clear the message out to get something done. Writing down exactly what the error message says can allow you to finish up what you are doing before you make that phone call to support. When we have the text of the error message we can do further research on what the message means if we haven’t seen it before and help it get resolved for you much more quickly.

Coming in prepared can really save both of us a lot of time, so we love it when you know the answers to these right away! Sometimes it helps to keep a notepad right next to your computer so you can make notes of when these issues occur and what the error messages say. Then the notes are right there for you when it’s time to call support.