First, let’s define the word support so we are all on the same page:
- something providing immaterial help to a person or cause or interest;
- supporting structure that holds up or provides a foundation;
- give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to;
When you go to send a support ticket through a live chat or Web site, you are in most cases asking for support; someone to help you or answer the questions you may have.
Support Ticket Etiquette includes the very same issues I type about here all the time. Basically typing with “knowledge, understanding and courtesy”.
- Always include a greeting. To just blurt out your questions or demands can lend to a negative perception of what it will be like to help you and the kind of customer you are.
- Unless you know everything and are an expert at the issue at hand, humble inquiries will always garner the best results. Making demands based on little knowledge or experience, exposes your lack of open-mindedness on the issue. I see clients do this all the time. When frustrated with something not working as they perceive it should and they whip off a demanding, condescending support ticket which then clearly reflects how much they really don’t know.
- Include every bit of detail the support agent will need to help you. Order numbers, dates, confirmation numbers, specific error messages, URLs — anything you think they may need to help you in one fell swoop! The more detail the better! General accusations or demands without details reflects a lack of respect for the other side’s time.
- Always end your ticket with a TIA, Thanks in Advance, Appreciate your help — something — and your name. Thanking folks for their help, encourages them to do just that!
On a daily basis I see support ticket posts that make my jaw drop. I wonder what these folks are thinking by typing in the bossy and demanding way that they do (in all lower case, typos and improper grammar) while asking for help!
Especially with technology, unless you know all the details of what is going on in the background, showing humility and assuming you are not aware of the big picture that could be effecting the issue at hand is wise.
- not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
- having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
- courteously respectful:
Regardless of your level of frustration at the time, when you need someone’s help, and are not an expert on the topic, patience and courtesy is appreciated and will garner faster responses.
By approaching support staff with courtesy reflects you are a person who they will want to help, that you realize you need help and are open to new concepts and learning a few new things along the way.