No matter how well you know your computer, sooner or later, every small business owner is going to call tech support. Remember, what you say, and how you say it, are important factors in getting your problem solved. Here are some tips for efficient interactions with tech staff.
1. Do the obvious: Restart your computer. After restart, make sure you have no other programs opened, other than the one causing problems.
2. Check for system and program upgrades and install them.
3. Write down what operating system you are using and the name of version of the software you are using.
4. Clarify in your mind exactly what the problem is. Lots of things may concern you, but try to state the symptoms first. Remember that a simple statement is not the same as an empty statement. Do not contact tech support and say: It doesn’t work. This does not count as stating the problem. Do not attempt to make the tech support person ask 20 questions from you before he can even get to the point of the call. Less-than-patient tech support people may and will waste your time, too, and then nothing will be solved.
5. Remember that 99 percent of the time the problem is not with the computer or the program. The problem is most likely with the user. So, adopt a humble, business-like attitude, and treat your tech support person with respect.
6. Be open minded and patient. The support person likely will have several theories about solutions. Even if you have used the program or computer for years and never had this problem, try to be open to possible solutions the tech support person offers. You may have never had a problem with your CD drive, but it is possible that today is the day you are having one.
7. Offer context when relevant. If you just added new hardware to your computer, and your problem is with the computer, tell this to the tech support person. If you opened an email attachment, and now you are having problems, tell this to tech support.
8. Accusing tech support of incompetence doesn’t solve the problem.