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Business Support Ticket Etiquette

Business Etiquette and Support Tickets

How you communicate with other business folks will clue them into what it will be like to do business with you. Whether you are a customer or another business, the impression will be made.

Relationships = Business Success

As a business owner myself, I have to open support tickets on a regular basis for either myself or my clients. So, let’s first define the word support so we are all on the same page:

SUPPORT: n.
  1. something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest;
  2. supporting structure that holds up or provides a foundation;
  3. give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to;

When you go to lodge a website support ticket, you are in most cases asking for help or have question that needs to be answered. You need that person on the other side to be there and willing to assist you.

Just because you are the customer, that does not give you license to be bossy, demanding or rude. Once again the little things I talk about each week can make a huge difference.

It is a wise thing to be polite; consequently, it is a stupid thing to be rude. To make enemies by unnecessary and willful incivility, is just as insane a proceeding as to set your house on fire. For politeness is like a counter–an avowedly false coin, with which it is foolish to be stingy.

Arthur Schopenhauer, The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims

Business Support Ticket Tips

“Support Ticket Etiquette” includes the very same issues I write about all the time. Basically typing with knowledge, understanding and courtesy.

Always Include a Greeting

To just blurt out your questions or demands can lend to a negative perception of the kind of customer you are or partner you will be. I always start tickets with a “Hello, hope you are doing well and that you can help me today…” (“What a nice customer!”)

Don’t Be an Expert.

And even if you are — humility and courtesy should supersede pointing that out. Respectful inquiries will always get the best results.

Making assumptions based on little knowledge or experience will expose your possible lack of receptiveness to solutions on the issue. Unless you know something for a fact, do not assume or accuse.

I see clients do this all the time. I get it. They are frustrated with something not working as they perceive it should. This causes them to whip off a demanding, condescending support ticket. In actuality that ticket exposes how much they really don’t know.

Even after doing technology for 25 years — I am fully aware of how much I don’t know. It is not uncommon for me to include “If I missed a resource or help page that covers this, please send me the URL for further review. ;)” 

This let’s the support staff know I did in fact make the effort to find what I was looking for before asking for assistance. And that I value their time and don’t expect them to hold my hand if I did miss those resources. (“How cool that this customer isn’t wasting my time!”)

Have Details at the Ready

Order numbers, dates, confirmation numbers, specific error messages, URLs. Have anything you think they may need to help you and include it in with your initial inquiry.

General accusations or demands for resolution without details will indicate a lack of respect for the support rep’s time. Have notes or documents all available so you can easily include it in your support request. (“How refreshing to have all the info I need to get the customer the answers they seek in one response!”)

Reflect Gratitude

Always end your request/ticket with a TIA, Thanks in Advance, Appreciate your help and your name. Thanking folks for their help, encourages them to do just that.

Using their name and including your name personalizes your request. (“I wish all customers were this nice and helpful!”)

On a regular basis I see support requests that make my jaw drop open. I wonder what these folks are thinking by typing in the bossy and demanding manner that they do (in all lower case, typos and improper grammar). All the while asking for — and pressing for — assistance.

You most likely do not know all the details of what is going on in the background, especially when it comes to technology related support requests. It best to be humble and assume you are not aware of the big picture that could be causing the issue at hand.

HUMBLE: adjective
  1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful
  2. courteously respectful

Regardless of your level of frustration at the time, whenever you need another person’s assistance, take the time to be courteous. When you are not an expert on the topic, humility will be appreciated and garner faster responses.

By approaching support staff with courtesy, that is not commonplace, reflects you are a person of character. It shows that you realize you need help and are open to new concepts and learning a few new things along the way.

This approach will provide a pleasant and constructive experience on both sides of the screen. And in that case, will make all involved satisfied with the process.

Go ahead and share!