How To Ask For Software Support

wordpress-for-elearningAs much as I would like to say that our software works perfectly for every single person, that simply is not the realty.

Believe it or not, software sometimes doesn’t work as intended – and that’s where support comes in!

Over the years we have answered thousands of support requests from people all over the world, and while I will not claim that we have “seen it all”, we have experienced a large variety of situations.

Most of us have purchased software in our lives, and most of us have encountered an issue at some point.

You expect “X” to happen but suddenly “Y” happens instead. It can be frustrating.

So what do we do? We contact customer support.

Help Them Help You

Speaking from experience let me tell you that there are good ways to ask for support, and not-so-good ways to ask for support.

If you choose the “good” way then you will get your issue resolved quicker.

If you choose the latter, you will get even more frustrated.

So what is the correct way to ask for support that leads to faster resolution times? It’s simple really: focus on the issue, not your frustration.

That seems simple enough, but can be hard to do. It sometimes feels so satisfying to release that frustration. While I agree that it feels good, it distracts from the actual issue at hand.

When you focus on the issue, explain (in numbered steps if possible) what you did to encounter the issue. At the step where you encounter the issue explain what happens and what you expect to happen.

This is helpful in two ways:

  1. It allows support personnel to attempt to recreate the behavior
  2. It allows support personnel to help clarify any incorrect assumptions about expected behavior

In addition to this information it is always helpful to include any combination of:

  • Video showing the issue
  • Screenshots
  • Admin credentials to your site (preferably a development site)

This information is golden to people who are helping you.

If you start off providing this information then you won’t have to wait for a reply in which they request it from you. Your issue is resolved quicker.

If you feel like you must vent your frustrations then I would recommend doing so after your issue is resolved. You may find that you aren’t really as upset as you were initially. Also, your criticism will also be more intelligently conveyed as the emotions won’t be as “raw”.

One last thing to remember: the people who work in customer support are not machines. They have feelings and lives of their own. They have good and bad days just like you.

Expressing frustration is totally understandable but there are tactful ways to do so. You can remain respectful while expressing displeasure.

When you go about it this way you often provide extremely valuable information to the company on where they can improve their offering, which only benefits you in the long-run! 🙂

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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