Earlier this year one of our technical analysts, Peter Elsner, wrote a tutorial on how to get the most from cPanel’s technical support. It hits on everything you should provide to our support team, but it is a great resource for any support request you submit to any team. A support team wants to solve your problem as much as you want to get it resolved, and clear information up front helps to go a long way towards that single-response resolution.
The subject of a support request matters
While it may not seem like a big deal, the subject of your request is the first context an analyst gets before beginning to work on your issue. Being as clear and concise as possible in regards to the problem is essential. That means avoiding terms like “HELP ME,” “EVERYTHING IS OFFLINE” and “URGENT.” Instead, use terms that relate to the exact problem, such as “three of ten websites are not responding” or “outbound email is not working for all accounts” will prove to be more helpful, and will ensure that the technician’s mindset focuses on the issue at hand.
Avoiding terms like “URGENT” into your subjects will also help to avoid the internal shaming that every analyst who has put any number of years into technical support experiences, even if someone would never admit that it happens; we’ve all been there, and we’ve all done that. Help us help you.
The first sentence of your support request is important
Providing a clear and concise description of your problem up front will go a long way toward us understanding the problem you are having. The more unrelated detail that the support analyst has to wade through, the longer it takes for the analyst to figure out the root of the problem. It might even distract the analyst for more than one response.
Reproduction steps AND credentials provided are critical
If there are clear reproduction steps provided, most analysts can diagnose and solve your issue with that alone. For that reason, it is imperative that you be precise when providing the steps to reproduce or observe your problem. Many times the reproduction requires some form of authentication. It is best to provide us with access to an account that we can use to reproduce the problem or give us permission to create a new account up-front. With all of that, you arm the analyst with everything they need to replicate and resolve the issue in a single response and avoid delays caused by the back-and-forth communication.
Pre-approval to perform actions
Sometimes a configuration rebuild, service restart, account termination, or other disruptive action is necessary to replicate or resolve an issue. If you know that when you submit your ticket, providing the support team with approval to perform those actions will avoid the analyst needing to reply asking for permission.
Submit better support requests
Providing this data and information up front will result in a more positive support experience anywhere you go. We believe so strongly in the power of providing good support, that two of the talks at this year’s cPanel Conference are focused on providing good support. On Tuesday Michael Collins, our Technical Support Community Manager will present “Technical Support as an Art Form.” Wednesday afternoon you can hear from Alex Tierney, a Technical Support Supervisor, presenting “Industry standards for support are terrible. How’s yours?”
Even if you miss the talks, you can stop by the “cPanel, We have a Problem!” booth during the exhibiting times and talk to any one of our support analysts that will be there.