When you call a company for customer support — especially technical support — it pays to be prepared.
How to Get the Best Customer Support From Pretty Much Any Company
Here’s what you can do to make sure you have the best possible customer support experience.
Try the Website First
If you are having trouble with a device, try going to the manufacturer’s website and then to the troubleshooting/support section. You may be able to solve the problem yourself and save some time. Or try searching for the problem using a search engine such as Google or Microsoft Bing. Other users may have had the same problem, and you may be able to find an answer online.
Check the Warranty
Check your warranty status before placing the phone call. You can often find the warranty information on the product itself or in the documentation that came with the product. You can also go to the manufacturer’s website. The sites frequently have a section that allows you to enter the serial number of the product to look up warranty information.
Plan Time to Call
Set aside at least a half-hour for a phone call to customer service. The call may take more or less time, but normally it is not a quick chat.
Have the Important Information Ready
If you are calling technical support for a product, have the serial number, product number and the make and model number ready. Try to have your receipt ready as well. The receipt should show the date of purchase, where the item was purchased and how much you paid for it.
Have the Product in Front of You
If you are calling for technical support for a computer or other electronic device, be sure you have the product in front of you. When you call for support, the technician will most likely walk you through troubleshooting steps, so you will need to have access to the device.
If the device you are calling about is a computer and you are receiving an error message, note the complete error message. Try to take steps to reproduce the error so you can relay that information to the technician. Know what operating system and what version of the operating system you are using. If you are calling about a specific program, know the name and version number of the program. You should be able to explain problem started and what troubleshooting steps you may have already taken.
Take Detailed Notes on the Call
Log all of the details about the call including:
- The date and time you placed the call
- The phone number you dialed
- The full name and ID number of the person you talked to
- What troubleshooting steps were taken during the call
- Any phone numbers or addresses you may need if you are returning the product
- Any case numbers, issue numbers, reference numbers, incident numbers or ticket numbers the support technician gives you
Anytime you call for support, a number will be assigned to the case. If the support technician does not give you this information, be sure to ask for it.
If you are sending the product back for replacement or repair, log all of the information related to the return such as what shipper will be used, who pays for shipping, how should the product be packaged for shipping, what items should be sent back and how long the expected turnaround time will be. Ask if you can track the shipment online.
Finally, if you are not satisfied with the technician you talk to, do not be afraid to ask to talk to a supervisor or to someone on the next tier of support!