Help Your IT Department: Help Yourself

It is inevitable that you will need to solicit the assistance of your IT service provider. They’re a busy bunch, helping lots of people with frustrating problems. It’s not an effortless job. When you ask for their help, there are a few important things to remember. Namely, they are not mind readers. Provide as much important information in your initial request. Help them, help you. Here are a few steps to make your experience and theirs more streamlined and pleasant.

Write an Informative Email Subject Line
IT technicians receive frequent requests on a variety of issues – some are extremely urgent such as “I have a virus that destroying my documents”; while others are can withstand a 1-2 hour response delay, for example: “My monitor has a pinkish tinge.”  It helps the technician if you include a subject line containing the basics of the issue, which helps them determine the priority level.  A good example of a subject line is “Installed __ got error __”, which helps them to know instantly what your problem is with the computer.  A vague subject line without a meaningful description of the problem won’t help them solve your issue.

Details, Details, Details
It is important that you include a detailed description including as much information as possible. Please include your OS, any steps you took, and any error messages. Error messages might not mean anything to you, but to an expert they are a source of useful information.

Be Frank
Your IT provider is likely to be busy most of the time, so while details are important, when communicating your issue be sure to keep unnecessary information to a minimum. Simply record the essential information and send the message along. Too much needless detail can delay how soon the problem is resolved and add to your frustrations.

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!