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5 Things to Keep in Mind When Contacting IT

Working in IT can, at times, be difficult and draining. From the other perspective it can be aggravating to try and communicate exactly what the problem is. So, in an effort to cut out some of the frustration for both the IT personnel and Customer Service Reps and you we have come up with five things that anyone contacting IT or Customer Support should keep in mind.

1. What specifically is not working?
We have yet to meet an IT mind reader, no matter how many people believe that there is such a person. Whereas if you will tell them specifically what went wrong (to the best of your abilities) then you will not have wasted time that you didn’t need to. 

However, if you are unsure exactly what the problem is then be prepared for the IT or Customer Service Rep to ask you a series of questions until they get to what the problem is.

2. How Did You Arrive at the Problem?
Unless you clicked on a program and it didn’t open, you did just arrive at the problem. The answer to this question may be a little difficult for you to answer, but the more you know and can explain to the IT person the more they will be able to arrive at the issue faster. So when you come to a problem, ask yourself these questions:

a. What was I doing right before I got this problem?
b. What was I doing before that?

Go back as far as necessary (no one needs to know you turned on the computer, unless you were having trouble turning on the computer).

3. No Screaming, Yelling, or Talking Down to IT.
No one likes to be yelled at, ever. So please stop when talking to anyone on the phone who did not personally hurt you. This includes all customer service representatives and IT personnel. You will not get your point across and the person you just screamed at is going to be less likely to help you more than necessary. The other side of this coin is when an individual calls and belittles or talks to the IT person as if the Customer Service Rep or IT personnel were an idiot and couldn’t figure out that you were insulting them. Speaking that way isn’t going to help you at all.

What you need to do is take a deep breath before calling anyone. Then, when speaking, if you start to get upset again, take a deep breath, and try to explain a different way. By not yelling, screaming, or communicating as if you think the person on the other end of the phone is stupid you will get your fix and everyone will be happier for it.

You might even find a person that you can trust and who will be able to help you again if there are any other issues.
  Everyone knows this guy. Don't be him!

4. Be Fair – Fix the problem at hand, then voice other issues you may have.
In the heat of the moment everything is frustrating. Bringing up every issue from the past will not solve the current problem. So, after stating what the problem is, getting it fixed, then bring up other issues that are of concern to you. IT and Customer Service Reps should be able to address those and help you work out something that is fair to both parties.

5. Be Prepared to Admit if You are Wrong.
Nobody likes to be wrong when there is a problem. However, if through fixing the problem it comes out that you were the cause of the issues admit to your mistakes. Don’t blame this, that, or anything else. If it was an honest mistake, just say you weren’t aware. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. After someone has yelled at you, only to find out it was their mistake, what would you want that person to do?

The biggest issue that IT personnel and Customer Service Reps have voiced is the lack of respect. They too are humans, and are trying to do their job well. They understand your frustration, and want to help you, but by making it more difficult you are actually hurting yourself.  By keeping in mind the five points listed your next call to IT or Customer Service should go much more smoothly.

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