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Tips for Calling Tech Support

John Christ, @3llionairex
09.08.16
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Most people who call tech support want an expert to fix their problem as soon as possible. An immediate fix is not always possible; hence you must find shortcuts to manage your time.
Whether you've got broken gadgets, downed service, or need to fix a manufacturer's mistake, successfully working with tech support requires you to prepare before contacting them.

Follow these tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

1. Diffuse Anxiety and Frustration Before Calling
Tech glitches and device crashes often occur at the worst time, which can result in frustration. But getting emotional or angry solves absolutely nothing and calling tech support in that state of mind might lead to a stand-off with the call attendant, taking you nowhere.
Take a walk, have a short run on a treadmill or use any other method to return to the problem with a clear head.


2. Prepared Thoroughly
Before you pick up the phone or attempt to start online chat, make sure you're ready to describe your problem in great detail. The more prepared you are, the less time you'll use talking to tech support.
A clear description of the errors you are getting will ensure a smooth and quick resolution.
The things you should have ready are:

  • The time the problem started
  • Screenshots of error messages
  • Notes of any specific actions before the problem occurs ('this' happens when I press 'this' button)
  • What have you done to try to fix the problem?

3. Ignore the Support Tree Options
Depending on the time of the day you call, this part of the process is where you wait for an attendant to pick up the phone. There's nothing you can really do here except wait.
However, before you get to a tech support attendant, you'll probably have to make your way through the support phone tree options.
If you know the key combination to get you straight to a representative, just skip the other options. If not, wait until the end of the list "for other questions" or "tech support" which will often get you through to a live rep.

Even if your problem is mentioned in the tree options, ignore it. Automated responses rarely give you what you need.


4. Get a Ticket Number
Most modern day tech support groups use a ticket management system to track issues raised by their customers and clients.
If you have contacted tech support about your issue before, a ticket number can ensure the swift resolution of your problem. Tech support can normally access information and documentation logged by the previous reps.
Ensure you ask for and keep your ticket number for future use.


5. Record the Call
Although most representatives make necessary notes on your case file, the only person you can trust to get things done is you. Do yourself a favor and record the call, even if tech support will "record the call for quality and training purposes".
Recording the call not only saves you time and money the next time you call tech support but, if something goes wrong later, or you don't recall particular instructions, you have the recording for reference.

It is important to note that in many countries, you must inform them that you're recording. Recording calls illegally could get you in trouble.


6. Be Persistent, but Polite
The better a customer you are, the more receptive customer support will be to your problems. Unfortunately, it's easy to forget that the customer service rep didn't design the program or hardware that's giving you problems and, therefore, isn't the source of the problem.
During the call, keep in mind that the rep is there to help solve your problem, based on the information you give them.
Persisting while staying calm is your best bet to resolve your tech issues with as few hitches as possible.

So with these tips and a little perseverance, you can solve your issues in record time. Have your own tips for dealing with tech support efficiently? Tell us in the comments below.

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