Using multiple varieties of information technology in the digital age is both valuable and unavoidable when operating a business. As with anything else, though, even the best IT systems can drive questions that need to be answered and develop issues that need to be solved. When the technology in question is an integral part of doing business, those questions and issues need to be resolved as soon as possible. While some IT support experiences are quick and seamless, it can be difficult and frustrating to get an answer or solution from an IT support company. The tips below can help navigate these issues and get the most from any IT support company. Learn the Lingo Many IT support companies offer training opportunities to their clients that help immensely answer questions about how to use their product. It may be challenging to find the time to review their FAQs and training documents, watch videos about their product, and take live sessions with an instructor from their company, but in the end, it does save time and is well worth it. Yes, it benefits the IT support company if their clients are not calling them for answers to questions that exist in the training resources that they provide, but it helps you as the client as well. Suppose everyone isn’t calling or electronically submitting questions answered through these resources, which equates to shorter wait times when an inquiry cannot be avoided. Further, you will have a better idea of how to frame a question or describe an issue to IT support and better understand the responses you receive. Even better, the provided resources may shed light on features of the technology that you are not already taking advantage of, which may improve the efficiency of your business’s operations. Read the Release Notes If you aren’t aware of updates made to the technology you are using, you could miss out on new ways to improve efficiency. For example, you or your employees may be doing a complex calculation by hand because your IT system didn’t sufficiently calculate it in the past. Still, an update to the IT system that you use may have enabled the software to accurately complete the calculation. If you are not paying attention to the release notes, you will never know about these updates. Be as clear and detailed as possible when asking for help. Suppose there is a question or an issue that needs to be forwarded to your IT support company for assistance. In that case, they can better and more quickly answer the question or solve the problem if provided with an appropriate amount of background information. This is especially true when solving an issue. If you are running into an error or cannot figure out why something isn’t working as expected, provide as much information as possible about the page or pages that you visited about the issue, any potential changes that you have made that may have affected the situation, anything you may have done to try and solve this issue yourself, and any screenshots that can help provide a visual of the issue. An IT support specialist can more quickly resolve a problem and more thoroughly answer a question when the inquiry is detailed. Providing screenshots is worth mentioning again – the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is highly applicable here. Don’t immediately ask for a Supervisor. If you’ve called IT support multiple times for an unresolved issue, or if you’ve had to do so in the past, it can be very tempting to reach out to support and ask for a supervisor right away to avoid past headaches. This might seem to get results, but it can lengthen the time it takes to resolve your issue. Supervisors are not always available to take calls. While you may have had a long and frustrating experience with one or two IT support specialists in the past, you may have reached a more experienced specialist this time, or the same specialist may have more experience now than they did when you last dealt with them. Further, the IT support specialist you have reached might be better able to help you than the supervisor can. Frequently, supervisors have their positions because they are good at managing people. Even if they started as a support specialist and have a wealth of experience with the IT system in question, they are no longer on the front lines once they become a supervisor. Over time, their quick familiarity with the system can diminish, and the support specialist you are on the phone with may be able to understand and resolve your issue more quickly. Even if you are actively calling back to follow up with a supervisor who is already familiar with and working on your issue, share your identity and a brief explanation with the support specialist who answers your call rather than just asking for the supervisor. If the supervisor is not available, then a more detailed message will result in a better and quicker response. If they are available, they can pull up your information and be ready to assist you when they know who is on the phone ahead of time. Keep a level head It is not easy to be calm when you encounter an issue that is holding up the business’s operation that your livelihood depends on, especially when it is not something that you can resolve on your own. Taking a few deep breaths and keeping your cool while discussing the issue with IT support helps immensely shorten the time it takes to resolve an issue. Anger, panic, anxiety, and frustration are infectious human emotions that can be passed on to the person that you are speaking to on the phone, detracting from your ability to relay the issue, their ability to work through the problem and assist you, and your ability to understand the solution. Even the most practiced IT support specialists who do not allow these emotions to affect their performance will need to use your valuable time to work around your emotional state while assisting you in allowing your feelings to take over. The expression of these emotions is an understandable reaction to adversity and challenging to master. Still, anything you can do to quell these emotions will help you when working with your IT support company. Don’t be afraid to ask for a Supervisor. While immediately asking for a supervisor can cause issue resolution to take longer, there are times when asking for a supervisor is helpful and speeds up the resolution of your issue. Before you do, allow the support specialist to diagnose the problem and make attempts to resolve it. As you interact with them, you will likely pick up queues that tell you if the specialist cannot resolve the issue independently, whether due to lack of experience or a lack of authority. They will most likely reach out to a more experienced specialist or supervisor on their own in these situations, but if it seems like it is taking too long. They are not communicating adequately with you about their progress, or if the issue is resolved, but there is some monetary compensation that you think you are due because of the issue, calmly let the specialist know this and ask if involving another specialist or a supervisor will help with the situation. This will likely prompt the specialist to give you more information about what is being done to resolve the issue and whether there is already another specialist and/or a supervisor involved. You can always ask to speak directly to someone else later, but if the specialist is close to resolving your issue on their own, starting the resolution process over with someone else can lengthen the time it takes to resolve your issue. If it is a question of monetary credit, there may be something that the person you have been dealing with can do for you directly. When all 6 of the above tips are utilized, they reinforce each other and help you get the most from any IT support company you work with.