8 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Tech Support

Business owners depend on all aspects of their company running smoothly and efficiently. When a computer malfunctions or a server goes down, you need the problem fixed as quickly as possible. As many small businesses depend on an outsourced tech support firm to solve their problems, this means making a phone call and hoping to reach a miracle worker on the other end. Since many business owners rank calling tech support with getting a root canal in terms of excitement, it is important that you know the tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your experience. With a few extra steps on your part, you can help ensure that your technology gets back on line as quickly as possible.

Tip #1: Know your system

Before you call your tech agent, you need to be prepared with the basic information about your computer hardware and software. Are you using a Mac or a PC? What is your operating system (i.e. Windows 8, OS X Yosemite, etc.)? What are the brands and models of your printers and scanners? Your tech support agent will need to know all of this information in order to know how to access your system and identify the problem. Bonus Tip: It’s a great idea to run a program such as the free Belarc Advisor. These programs take an inventory of your entire computer for you. All you need to do is print out the report and keep it on hand for whenever disaster strikes.

Tip #2: Write down the problem

There is nothing worse than telling your tech agent that “your computer isn’t working.” Since there are a million different ways that a computer can stop functioning, your tech advisor is going to need details about what went wrong. Was there an error message? Did your machine make a funny noise? Did you see a blue screen? Was there smoke coming out of the motherboard? Write down everything that you saw or heard at the moment the problem happened. It is much easier for your tech to ascertain the problem when you say that, “For the last two days, my MacBook Air (which runs OS X 10.5) starts to boot up, a lot of text scrolls down the screen and then everything turns off” versus “my computer won’t start.” If you write down the problem, then you will be sure to give accurate information even if you have to wait for a tech.

Tip #3: Know your terms and conditions

If you are a Digity member, you will have specific things that are included in your membership. Depending on your agreement, you may have unlimited support calls or a special hourly rate for certain services. Know beforehand what is covered in your contract. If you do not have unlimited support, ask for a best-guess estimate of the amount of time or the cost. This way you know in advance whether your budget allows you to proceed or whether it would be more cost-efficient to buy a new piece of equipment. Bonus Tip: It is important that you also make sure you know which computers and devices are covered by your membership. If you are unsure of what is included in your plan (or what to change the number of devices covered), talk to your Digity tech advisor.

Tip #4: Have your calendar near by

With remote-access help, the tech will usually want to start working right away on the problem. If, however, you need to set up another time (or a follow-up visit), make sure that you have your calendar nearby and that you know when you are available. This can greatly speed up the entire process.

Tip #5: Be prepared

Your tech agent may require access to a lot of different parts of your computer system. Be prepared with all of your passwords, software disks, product keys, system recoveries and backups.

Tip #6: Stay calm

Your tech support agent knows that you are frustrated with your technology. He is there to try and help you solve the issue. If you get overly emotional – including anger – then you can significantly slow down the problem-solving process. And remember, tech agents are humans. They are much more likely to go the extra mile for someone who has been friendly and polite throughout the process.

Tip #7: Get a name and a ticket number

Every tech call is usually cataloged with some sort of ticket number (which identifies you and your problem). Ask your tech for his name and your ticket number so that if you have to call back, you can pick up exactly where you left off. If you like your tech, ask if you can get a direct number. This is especially helpful if the problem reappears after a few days.

Tip #8: Be available without hovering

Your tech is going to need some time to explore your system and see what is happening. Most likely he will have some questions along the way. Try to give him the time and space (and peace) he needs in order to do his work, while still being accessible for any questions. If you have questions about the process, try to wait until a break or until the end of the call.

In Conclusion

A tech support call can be a smooth process that results in all your problems being solved. Or it can be a frustrating nightmare. If you take the time to follow these 8 tips, you can help ensure that you have the best possible experience with your tech agent.