Make Tech Support Easier for Everyone

Getting tech support help can be a very frustrating experience, whether it’s at work or at home. It’s easy to blame the person on the other end of the phone whenever things go wrong or take a long time to fix. There are ways to help yourself through tech support though, that can make life easier for both yourself and your IT guy/gal.

  1. Don’t Lie! Messing something up can be embarrassing, however being clear about what you were – or weren’t – supposed to be doing will help you both save time in the long run. If you poured coffee on the keyboard, tell them. If you were downloading torrents on the company PC, tell them. It will help solve the problem faster which will make everyone less grumpy. They’ll find out anyway, and just be more mad at you that you didn’t tell them what happened.
  2. Don’t Assume! No, the IT person is not psychic. They can only go by what you tell them, and if you assume that they already know what the problem is your chances of getting help are slim. Provide as much informatoin as you can on the problem, as specifically as possible.
  3. Write Down Error Messages! If an error message pops up, write down what it says. If it’s a really long message, as in a crash to a “blue-screen-of-death”, just write down the error code as best you can. This can help tremendously in terms of knowing what the problem is and how to fix it. Don’t just click on “OK” or “Cancel” and then say “I got some error message”. You can also make a screenshot of the message by hitting “print screen” on your keyboard, opening a new document in Paint or Word, and then pasting the image into the document. A captured image of your desktop with the complete message will be very helpful and can be printed or emailed easily.
  4. Shut It Down! It’s amazing how many problems are solved by simply shutting the whole thing down for a minute and starting it back up again. The problem might be that a program needs to reboot to install a patch or update and that’s why it’s not working properly. And don’t just reboot the system, power it off and then power it back on. This works for peripherals like printers and modems too.
  5. Turn It On! It’s just as surprising how many problems are caused by something not being turned on. Many internet access or network problems are the result of the wi-fi on the computer being turned off or the router getting unplugged. Check to make sure everything’s on that needs to be on before freaking out.
  6. Fix It Yourself! Granted, your company might not want you to fix their PC yourself. But many problems can be tracked down with the help of your favorite search engine. By writing down the error code and copying that into the search field, you’ll often come across solutions or others with the same issue and maybe see how they resolved it. I’ve solved about 80% of PC problems this way and learned a lot in the process. If the solution is too technical or you’re not comfortable doing the fix, then try a 3rd party.

Posted on February 3, 2012, in How To, Microsoft Windows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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