Help Your IT Department: Help Yourself

Without question, there’ll be an occasion when you will need help from your IT service provider. Bear in mind that they are in charge of aiding a large number of people with a wide variety of challenging problems.  In order to receive the best possible response to your request, be sure to include as much important information when you first ask for help. You can’t assume they’ll understand your issue if you don’t give them all the details. By following these few steps, you can be assured that the whole experience goes smoothly and efficiently.

Write an Informative Email Subject Line
Often, the IT department will get inundated with requests ranging from those that require immediate response – “my computer is smoking and smells like burning plastic” – to those that can handle a one to two hour delay in response – “I want to send this 150 MB file but it just won’t upload to my email.” Using a detailed subject line will let them know the basics up front and help them prioritize the request appropriately.  For instance, the subject line “Installed ___ got error _____” will help them immediately know what your issue is all about.  Put simply, do not write “Computer problems!!!!!!!!!!” This is not helpful as it provides no real description of the problem.

Details, Details, Details
In the body of your support request email, you should add all details you can, such as what OS you use, what actions you’ve taken, and what was the content of any error messages you saw. Error messages might not covey much to those who are not in the IT field, but they do to those in IT! Statements such as “followed some steps I saw online” are ambiguous to the recipient of your email and they may not be able to diagnose the problem without contacting you for further information. It is important to explain the issue in full.

Be Frank
Both you and the members of your IT support team are busy people.  So while it’s important to give details, don’t write a novel about your frustrations. Provide the information needed and send it. Including too much detail about nonessentials only delays the response time to your issue.

In the end, you are all busy people and your IT services provider wants to help you quickly and efficiently. Help them do so by following the tips above!


About tsgnetworks

TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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