Hosting Industry Demystified

Providing Best Technical Support

Whenever you have a technical question that needs answering, you want that answer as fast as possible, right? In the instantaneous world of the internet, patience has become a rare commodity, and the time you spend unable to send or receive email or waiting for your website to come back online can mean lost revenue. If you want to get a timely response from your support technician, there are things you can do as a customer to speed up the process:

Define the problem as accurately as possible

The more detail you can provide, the more quickly the technician can identify the source of the problem and correct it. Try to determine the following information if possible:

* What were you doing when the error occurred?
* What program were you operating that produced the error?

Note the version of the program and the operating system that you are running on your computer.
* If there is a specific error message, what does it say? Be prepared to give this information to the technician by phone, email or fax.
* What are the steps you take to reproduce the error?
* What time did you first notice the error?
* Did the error occur only once, consistently over a period of time, or only when you do a certain thing?
* Can you reproduce the error on a separate computer?

Know the priority status of your request

Support technicians get many requests during the course of the day, often at the same time, with varying levels of urgency, and these requests take time to resolve. If a request cannot be resolved immediately, then it will be assigned an appropriate priority level based on the type of problem to be resolved as soon as possible.

* Outages – Always top priority. If your website or email is down, any good technician should drop all other projects until this is resolved.
* Breakages – If a critical part of your website becomes inoperable due to a server error, such as a database for a shopping cart, this should always be addressed with high priority.
* Time Sensitive Operations – If you need something to be done within a certain time frame, such as enabling or disabling a feature of your account, then you should make this clear to the technician. The operation should be performed within the prescribed time frame as long as a higher priority issue does not arise.
* Ongoing Problems – If a particular problem continues to occur for an extended period of time, its priority should be raised as necessary the longer the problem goes on.

* Non-Critical Operations – If your request does not adversely affect the function of your services or contain a time-sensitive element, it will receive the lowest priority, but it still should be handled as soon as reasonably possible.
* Allow an appropriate response time

As stated previously, most technicians have more than one problem to handle at once, so once you have an idea of the priority level of your request, allow a reasonable amount of time for it to be resolved. Server errors should be resolved within hours to same day, depending on the circumstances. Lower priority items which can be quickly resolved should usually be handled by the next day. If a request will require several hours of work to resolve, expect it to take longer. A technician’s job is to be constantly interrupted all day, so such requests will usually be saved until time permits or passed off to another available person to be completed. Understand that any completion time estimate given to you is assuming the absence of any higher priority requests intervening in the process.

Most types of technical support requests should be answered with an acknowledgment of completion. If you do not receive one or are unable to determine on your own that your issue has been resolved within a reasonable amount of time, then you should contact the technician again to inquire about the status of your request.

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