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How to Ask for Help Via Email

Email Etiquette and Requests for Help

Technology can frustrate even the most experienced of us. I’ve been around from the start, and can vouch for that! There always seems to be something that causes frustration that requires we rely on others for assistance.

Whether it be email configuration, website issues, order concerns or follow-ups, at some point you will need to seek out help. Whenever you are asking someone to be of assistance, it is best you do so humbly and with courtesy.

Bees & Honey

Yes, you can communicate however you please. But be aware that by not making the extra effort to communicate properly you can create a negative perception from the start. Not a good thing if the other side is prioritizing who they spend their time with.

When you need assistance, be aware that the person on the other side, doesn’t have to help you as fast, as much or in the manner you assume they should. They are probably busy with other responsibilities and your request is just one of many they need to get to.

This is where a dab of courtesy and common sense comes into play. When asking for assistance, be on your best behavior, use proper email etiquette, sentence structure and grammar.

Spell-check so you don’t appear to be an illiterate. Read your request out loud before clicking Send to reflect that you took the time to communicate with a tone appropriate for asking for help.

What if it were you?

Think about it… Who are you going to jump to help? Those who make demands in cryptic sentences? No thank you or tidbit of appreciation for what they are asking you to do for them?

Or the person who sends their request starting with a nice greeting, all the details you need to help them clearly included and ending with a “Thanks for your help!”? Those four little words go a long way.

My job is to offer WordPress support and business coaching. I am known for my prompt response and “white glove” support when helping those who email me with courtesy, kindness and clarity.

But what about those who do not take the time to be courteous? What if they clearly did not read one iota of the info provided on my site before whipping off an email? That’s an indication, to me, that we may not be a good fit.

Technology is difficult, challenging and doing business online requires a work ethic like no other. And, yes, the ability to communicate professionally with courtesy and clarity using the written word.

First Impressions Matter

If you cannot make the effort to communicate in a way that reflects respect for others time, that may cause several things come to mind:

  • Are they business savvy enough to succeed online?
  • Will they be willing to improve their writing skills?
  • Do they respect my time and experience?
  • Are they the type of client I should consider taking on?

Now of course, business to business email communications need to be at a different level that everyday email. But the same principles apply.

They apply if you a consumer emailing your ISP, insurance provider or an eCommerce site that you are doing or considering doing business with. What type of customer do you want to be seen as?

One that is of value and worth best efforts? Or one that no matter what you do, will cost more than their worth? So here’s what you do:

5 Tips for Email Help Requests

  1. Always have a nice greeting.
  2. Explain with clarity what help you are seeking.
  3. Include all the necessary info that the other side will need to help you out. (Order number, dates, amounts, account information, etc.)
  4. Note that you already checked the online FAQs or support knowledge bases (because you actually did) and need additional assistance. This effort reflects that you value their time.
  5. Thank them in advance for any help they can offer.

By taking the above steps and being considerate and informative from the get-go, you’ll get the support you require and will be viewed as the type of customer worth holding on to.

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