For most people, working with technical support is somewhere near dental work on a list of fun things to do. Believe it or not, talking with tech support for a website problem doesn't have to ruin your day.

I can't promise that the experience will be enjoyable, but there are several things you can do to help make talking to support less painful for you.

Things to Check Before Sending an Email

Before writing an email, make sure you're prepared to explain your problem. The better prepared you are, the less time you'll spend talking to tech support. The exact things you should have ready will vary depending on your problem but here are several to keep in mind:

  • If you have an error message: What's the exact error message on your screen?
  • If you don't have an error message: What exactly is your theme or plugin doing? "The plugin just doesn't work" isn't going to cut it.
  • When did the problem start happening? (For example: after updating of WooCommerce).
  • What have you already done to troubleshoot the problem?
  • Does the problem still persists even with all plugins disabled?
The key point here is to be as specific as possible. The more information we have the faster we can resolve your issue.

Fullness and content

Receiving your request, Support Team member can follow only the given information. For example, saying "My website just quit working" doesn't say anything at all. There are millions of ways a website might not be "working" and the ways to fix those problems vary tremendously. I always recommend stepping through, in great detail, the process that produces the problem.

Also, please add the following technical details to your verbal description:

  • Login/password to your website (optionally)
  • Link to the page, where error occurs.
  • Browser type and version (for example, Chrome 67).
  • Theme version (for example, Startuply 3.0.9).
  • List of installed plugins (optionally).
  • Screenshot of the problem.
If the problem related to particular plugin, then please include the version of this plugin as well (for example: the state dropdown on checkout page doesn't work, WooCommerce version 3.4.5).

Bad example

The video autoplay function doesn't work! How to fix this issue?

Good example

The video autoplay function doesn't work in Chrome 67, I also tried in Safari and Firefox, but issue occurs only in Chrome. Here's the URL to the page.

Repeat the Details

Another way to avoid confusion when communicating is by repeating what the person you're talking to is saying.

For example, let's say we advise you to "Click on x, then click on y, then select z." You should repeat back "Okay, I clicked on x, then I clicked on y, then I selected z." This way, we are confident that you completed the steps as asked and you're confident that you fully understood what was asked of you.

Answering "Okay, I did that" doesn't confirm that you understood each other. Repeating the details will help avoid a lot of confusion.