Whether you’re trying to activate a new debit card or change something on your company’s website that is above your skill level, online support has become a part of our daily lives. It’s extremely convenient that companies have experts that can get you the answers you need quickly but there is definitely an art to asking your support questions.
Speak intentionally builds websites that are easy to use, but we understand that things happen or you need changes made and that's where our support team comes in. This blog will help you get the most out of the notch support that Speak provides or any other support provider you may contact.
By providing a few key pieces of information at the beginning of a support request you can expedite the process and get the result you need, faster. Below are tips for what to have ready and information to include to get your questions answered and problems solved. They’re broken into 3 categories:
- General Online Support Recommendations
- Website/Technology Online Support
- Speak-Specific Online Support
General Online Support Recommendations
Be specific about the problem you’re experiencing or the change you’re requesting
While you may not understand the extent of the problem you’re facing or the industry lingo to describe it, doing your best to share details goes a long way. When the full information provided is “it doesn’t work,” that’s basically sending the support team on a needle hunt in a hayfield. More follow-up is then required simply to understand the problem before working toward a solution.
If you’re not sure how to describe the issue, start by answering these three questions:
1. Where are you experiencing problems?
2. What actions were you taking for what expected results?
3. What actually happened?
For account-related support, have account numbers, product details, and/or purchase information on-hand
For online support in services where you have an account, it’s very common to be asked to verify your account in some way such as the account number or pin. There may be other details you should have ready depending on the nature of the service. Having these gathered before you engage with support, will move things along faster.
- Account verification numbers (pin, birthdate, last 4 digits of social security number, etc)
- Product details and/or purchase confirmation number
- Driver’s license or insurance card
Website/Technology Online Support Recommendations
Provide direct links
When requesting assistance, be sure to include the link where the item in question exists. Though not nearly as urgent, it’s similar to 911 calls. The responder needs to know where you need assistance (what page you’re on, feature you’re using). Direct links to the page you’re on helps tremendously and save a step from the support member from having to ask for it.
Share screenshots if applicable
The team providing assistance may not immediately see the same issue you’re experiencing. If you can provide a screenshot with your description of the issue, it helps them see the content exactly as you do, and they can start working to duplicate the error in order to solve it.
For website-related issues, be sure to include the URL bar in your screenshot. Though the characters in the query string may appear to be random, they sometimes share an important piece of the story that lead to the resolution.
Include browser and/or device information
With so many device types, operating systems, and screen sizes on the market, it’s not uncommon for issues to only affect some users. By including these details, the support team can identify your instance of the issue and then explore further to determine how many users are affected in order to identify a solution. Details may include:
- Device type - desktop, tablet, mobile
- If mobile - iOS or android
- Browser - Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc
- CMS (content management system)
- Screen size - sometimes display issues occur on a large monitor but not a standard monitor or laptop, suggesting a “breakpoint” adjustment is needed
This is also relevant for mobile apps.
Where a single website is coded to “respond” or resize to fit the screen size and look sharp across browsers, mobile apps are built separately for each operating system they exist on. Therefore, it’s very possible that an issue may occur only in one environment. It’s not always the case, but knowing the operating system where a problem occurs is a great place to start when troubleshooting an app issue.
Check multiple devices
Related to the previous suggestion, if you notice a problem with a web page, take a look on a different device. For example, if you notice that an issue exists on a desktop in Chrome, try to use Safari on a desktop, and then view it on a mobile device. Comparing those 3 will give an indication of whether an issue is specific to one or if it’s more widespread. If you notice this and can share it with your online support team in your initial request, they’ll have a great headstart on identifying the issue and a fix.
If using a shared wifi network, try using your mobile device off the network to determine if it’s an internal network issue
Sometimes specific networks can be the source of a problem. For example, corporate offices often have strong firewalls in place. This is a good thing for security, but it can sometimes cause delays in seeing updates on internal browsers as those firewalls scrutinize the data being served up.
Refrain from submitting multiple tickets or starting separate email threads
This may seem counterintuitive when an issue is urgent. You want to make sure the request is received and seen immediately, so you send multiple requests through ticket submissions and/or direct email. However, this can actually slow down the response time and resolution as it tags in more people, gets multiple response threads going, and causes confusion when different recipients have different details. Internally, they come together as “too many cooks in the kitchen.” It’s best to submit a single request and indicate any urgency at that time. Utilize “emergency” support features when they are available, as needed.
Speak-specific Online Support Recommendations
Use the custom-developed Support button in the back end of your site when possible
This custom-built feature captures many of the aforementioned details from your browser session automatically. So if you simply fill out the fields in the form, we have a great deal of information to start working on the issue. Additionally, the ticket goes directly into our queue of tasks that our front-end developers work through in order of receipt.
Using this feature also sets you up to receive notifications any time our team shares an update. Of course, our team members are glad to help direct support requests, but when we are the ones forwarding or creating tickets, it makes us the main point of contact instead of you.
Within this support portal, you’ll see categories for the type of assistance you need as well as an option to mark as a “911” for immediate attention.
How do I know if I should talk to my Brand Strategist about changes first or if I should go ahead and submit a ticket?
The distinction I often make for people is that if you have a straightforward question or task to complete, go ahead and submit a ticket. If you’d like to discuss strategy or talk through a few options before you decide what the exact change is, reach out to me (or your brand strategist).
Example: replacing a logo on all page templates with an updated version is straightforward and doesn’t require any strategy or other considerations. However, if you are considering design changes that affect the layout of your home screen, it would be a good idea to talk to your strategist about your goals and possible solutions first.
Want To Learn More About Speak Support?
Whether your site sees a lot of traffic or your site is just mission-critical, we know you can’t afford to mess around with support. Speak aims to give you a support experience like you've never had before. Our team is ready for anything you send our way.