7 Tips for Effective Communication with Tech Support

Whether you are student, faculty or staff, everyone has engaged in technical communications here at Georgia Tech. Since the recent COVID-19 outbreak forced all Yellow Jackets inside to distant learning and remote work environments, it is essential to adapt to more troubleshooting and conversations with Tech Support. The following are tips to help keep your conversations clear and concise.

1. Don't contact Tech Support… yet

Before submitting a ticket or initiating a conversation with tech support, there are a few things you should do first. Try using a different browser or going incognito to see if it is a browser compatibility issue or a problem with cached data. Check your internet connections and if there is a FAQ page, try to find if you are having the same issue there.

2. Retrace your steps

Depending on the issue, it might be helpful to remember all the steps you did before arriving at the problem. If all you did was type in the web address then this tip isn't necessary, but if you had to login to a site or drill down to get to the page with the problem then it might be a good idea to explain where you are coming from in regards to the issue.

3. The more information the better

Now, let's be clear, you do not need to give the tech support agent your whole life story, but if you think it's relevant then you should include that information. Your username, the date and time it occurred, the browser you are using, and the url of the page you are using are all important to the tech support for understanding what is causing the issue. If any error message is displayed, copy and paste it verbatim.

4. Take screenshots if possible

As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words, and a digital image is no different. Virtual images can show support agents more than your descriptions can, and the pictures can show vital information that you might have missed.

5. Be clear and concise

When speaking to Georgia Tech technical support staff, it can be easier to use the lingo to shorten your sentences. However, some support is conducted by Institute-wide service teams who do not understand the language and acronyms of your unit, which can muddle your communications. If you are uncertain, spell out the words and use clear language when chatting when with support.

6. Compress your thoughts

Tech Support agent gets a lot of emails every day. Multiple tickets mean multiple threads to follow, and while you might think dividing your issues into different tickets can help the problems get solved faster, it can often slow them down. Try to put all your complaints into one email unless you are told otherwise by the agent or support community.

7. Be Patient

Not all technical issues can be handled immediately. Being clear with your technical support staff is the best way for them to assign your problem a priority, but if it is not solved as quickly as you would like, be patient. Ask them up front for a timeframe and if the request is not addressed within that timeframe then you should feel free to ask for updates.