7 Ways to Make Tech Support Calls Less Painful

There are ways to work more effectively with any tech support agent – or escalate your call to a higher-level agent.
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It’s a fact of life that having to call the tech support line when a piece of hardware or software goes wrong can be a torturous experience. It can make seconds feel like millennia and can make having teeth pulled with no anesthetic seem like a pleasant proposition.

But tech support calls don’t have to be painful. Well, OK, maybe it does, but there are ways that you can make calling tech support lines somewhat less painful.

Here are my top tips based on having called a LOT of tech support lines over the years:

1) Get your ducks lined up before you call!

Before you even think about picking up the phone to call tech support, make sure you have all the information you need about your hardware or software ready in advanced. The list of information that you might need varies from product to product, but here are generalized lists for hardware and software:


• Model name and/or number

• Serial number

• Any firmware updates installed

• Approx date of purchase

Software: < P> • Software name and version

• Any add-ons/service packs installed

• Platform it’s installed on (OS version, service pack, etc.)

Write this stuff down – don’t rely on memory or guessing.

If you don’t have this information on hand before you make the call, you’ll be flustered during the call – and likely frustrate the tech support agent you’re talking to.

2) Know your problem

As well as has having all the information about your hardware/software written down, make sure that you also make detailed notes about your problem. Again, do this in advance of the call and make sure you try to remember everything that might be relevant.

A few suggestions:

• Description of the problem

• When does the problem happen?

• What steps can you follow to reproduce the problem?

• Can you always replicate the problem or it is intermittent?

• Details of any error messages displayed

Oh, and – again – write it down. If you try to recite the problem you’re having from memory, unless it’s a really simple problem, you’ll forget something vital.

I’d also suggest doing a few Web searches relating to the problem … who knows, you might find an answer to your problems without having to connect with a tech support agent!

3) Make the call … or not

It’s easy to think that all tech support has to be done over the phone. That’s not the case. Most companies offer a variety of ways for customers with tech problems to get in touch, such as:

• Email

• Text chat

• Forum-based support

For some people, text-based support can be better because it offers a record of what was said, and any instructions are easily available for future reference.

If you’re easily flustered on the phone, or the problem isn’t urgent, then using a text-based support method might be a better option for you.

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Tags: software, support, IT, Service Pack, Tech Support

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