We’ve all been there! You’re stuck on a technical issue, even after digging through the help site. If you can’t find the solution on your own, it’s time to write in to support.
For most, this next step is a leap of faith. It can sometimes feel like your email is going to a great void, and you’re not sure when you’ll get a response - much less a helpful one.
The truth is that most people in support really do want to help! So sit back and relax - we’re going to share the secrets of getting great customer support every time you need it. Even better, we’re going to show you how to get your problem fixed quickly, without a lot of back and forth. After all, this is something we know a little bit about.
Give your account info
You’re busy and on the go - writing in from your mobile device, a different email address, or maybe you’re at work. Bottom line is you may not always be able to write in from the email address on your account. If you can’t write in from the email on file, at least give some details about your account so support can find you in their system. This prevents a lot of back and forth and may even get your issue resolved in the first response.
A quick word on security
We hear it every day: “I promise this is my account, but I can’t remember my password and can’t access my email to reset it! Can you change it for me?” As much as we’d love to help, we really can’t do it without verifying ownership.
Most companies are going to be stringent on their security requirements. And this a good thing, right? You want your personal information, customer data, and all of your hard work to be kept safe. Every company will have their own security requirements - don’t expect them to bend those rules just for you. They are there for your own protection.
Okay, you’ve started writing your email, including all relevant account details. Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. The key here is to be as detailed and specific about your issue as possible - it’ll save you time in the long run.
What support might ask:
- Are you getting an error? If so, what is the error?
- What were you doing immediately before the error occurred?
- What browser were you using and when did it start happening?
If you can walk through the steps to recreate the error, support can test your issue and try to duplicate it.
Remember, it’s better to send too much info than not enough. If you’re having a hard time installing a Facebook app - send over a link to your Facebook page. Perhaps you’re wanting to customize some HTML, but your code isn’t working. Send the code and let support know where you’re trying to add it.
Looking for bonus points? A picture is worth a 1000 words! If your issue is proving to be difficult to articulate, then an image is your best friend. Taking a screenshot is super simple and can easily show all the details of your issue.
Most support teams do their best to respond to your issue quickly, but occasionally a message may slip through the cracks. Use any listed support hours as a guide for when to expect a response. If you haven’t heard back in a reasonable amount of time, it’s always a good idea to follow up.
A good rule of thumb: If it’s an urgent issue, and it’s during the work week or the support team’s posted working hours, feel free to follow up within 24-48 hours. If it’s not particularly urgent, or it’s over the weekend or a holiday, it’s wise to wait at least 48-72 hours.
Don’t shoot the messenger
The majority of the time, your issues can be resolved quickly by writing to support, but there will be times when the situation simply can’t be fixed the way you’d hoped. Remember that people in support genuinely want to help you, and no one likes to deliver bad news. When it comes down to a less than ideal resolution, try to respond respectfully - we’re all just humans, trying to do our best.
Receiving a heartfelt thanks after resolving a customer’s issue is one of the most rewarding aspects of working in support. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and a good old-fashioned thank you goes a long way. Plus, most companies keep a history of interactions, so a kind exchange can get you even better service down the road.
When something isn’t working like it should, remember support is here to help. Take a deep breath and send over a detailed email. Support will do everything they can to get that issue fixed up fast, so you can get back to doing what you love.
Lucie Bodie contributed to this guide.