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How to write a great Trouble Ticket/Forum post for help

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How to NOT get great service:

"I already have a sufficient license key that I DO NOT need to, or want to upgrade. The stupid offline registration does not work, nor does your technical support phone line.
You have 1 hour to resolve this issue, lest I launch a major negative campaigner assault against your company on the WEB, and let people know that you DB new yorkers are nothing more than a bunch of big shiesters."

Actual first ticket from this customer received 10 minutes ago (busiest week of the year).  No description of what the issue is (other than something to do with a license key).

Why would I WANT to help this person?

 

Edit:  While I suspect no one would WANT to help someone with that attitude, I did in fact reply to his ticket to get more information about what the actual issue is (the quote above was the ENTIRE ticket).  I actually replied 4 times and waited the entire hour she gave us.  I received no reply.

 

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Hey here we are again!  The season is off to an early start.  Let's see what's happened so far:

We're only trying to be nice:

We are more than happy to send parts to our customers to repair controllers/etc.  Some customers are shy and will ask us for part numbers, etc and somewhere they can buy the parts.  We always turn around and tell them - Hey!  We'll send you the parts, usually at no cost.  Just tell us what you need (and tell us that you know how to actually change the part in question).  They are being polite, and we appreciate that!

So a certain customer (a Dr. of something or other) recently asked us for a part number for the RJ45 jacks on a controller.  We send him the obligatory 'Are you sure you can do this work, and if so just tell us what you need'.  9 days later he replied that he can in fact do the work and he asked for 20 RJ45s and 20 Triacs.

Now, that is a lot of parts.  This person would have AT LEAST 10 controllers that have both RJ45s broken.  Most likely it would be more - typically only 1 jack gets busted on a controller.  So in my eyes, this HAS to be one of our bigger customers.  He's also asking about the jacks and triacs for EVERY generation of controller we have ever sold. 

Now at this point, it's not really about the cost of the parts.  At the quantities that we purchase, each one of those is a few cents.  The RJ45s are probably around $.40 each, and the triacs are around $.80 so we are talking at most $25 + shipping.  In other words, we are not going to go bankrupt even if this is not on the up and up.

What is odd is that this is the first ticket we have ever got from this person, and the person to whom he wants the parts shipped is not him.  You would think with that many different controllers, that many different generations of controller, and that number of parts he would have had some contact with us at some time in the past.  I go searching for this person in our orders system and get NOTHING.  Not a single hit.  I also search for orders from the person he wants these parts shipped to.  Nothing.  

Again, it's not a question of cost.  But we also don't want to be sending parts to every Tom, Dick or Dr. David that asks, we want to send them to our customers. As soon as we opened (he replied at around 1AM)  I asked the person what name the controllers were ordered under.  

2 more days pass and the reply comes that I am wasting his time.  Now in his defense he did ask for part numbers initially - But we would much rather send a customer the parts.  We get them for a lot less than he can (Those jacks are going to be around $1.25 each, and the Triacs around $2.25 each if he buys them - $65 plus around $15 shipping - $80), AND it's just good customer service.   

So in the end we sent him the part numbers and have not heard back from him.  However it's still a strange situation.  Frankly I think my initial gut reaction was right - despite saying he wasn't looking for freebies, I think that is EXACTLY what he was looking for.  Does it make sense to berate someone who is trying to save you $80 and just wants a little more info?  I guess sometimes, just being nice get's you yelled at.

PS:  To everyone out there that has higher education, the MDs and PHDs and the like, I respect the heck out of you.  I will call you Dr.  But when you stomp your feet like a little kid, say someone is wasting your time, and then sign your eMail with DR. SO-IN-SO, as if somehow you THINK you are more important, you will get laughed at - and get absolutely NO respect from me :)

 

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Let's Answer ALL those questions

So the help desk ticket system is THE most efficient way for us to handle support issues.  But for you, it may not be efficient - you put in a ticket and have to wait for us, then we have to wait for you, etc.  After all, it sometimes takes a couple of back-and-forth sessions to properly resolve something.  

We are keenly aware of that, and so many times we will ask you several questions at the same time.  For whatever reason, many (OK. ALMOST ALL)  customers will only , and then barely, answer one of them.  And it's not like they answer the first or last question.  Of the list of questions, they will answer one of them seemingly at random.  Without the answers to the other questions, this one answer provides us NO information. 

And then of course the customer will complain about how long it takes to resolve something with tickets.

Again, even if you think one or more of the questions has nothing to do with your issue, please take the time to answer them ALL.  If we ask 3 different questions, please provide 3 answers.  Otherwise we are just going to have to ask you again - which wastes your time.

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Use the Defaults

We get 2-3 of these a week, and during the season 2-3 a day.  A customer will contact us about moving to a new computer, or reinstalling the software and then not be able to find where all their stuff is - because they changed the location of the LOR Data directory, or they are not saving their audio/sequences/etc in the proper folder of the LOR data directory.  These customers (especially during season) then demand we find their data for them.

We're sorry, but that's not something we can do.  We didn't store or move the data, so we would have NO CLUE where YOU put it on YOUR computer.  

This is one of the reasons programs like ours suggest default locations for data.  All you have to do is press the OK button when asked:  "Where do you want your data stored?", or not change the suggested folder when you save something.  If you stick with what we suggest, we know immediately where it is on your computer:  My Documents/Light-O-Rama.  We can easily point you there.

But if you were smart enough to change the location of the Light-O-Rama folder, or to save data in a different folder than we suggest, you need to be smart enough to find that data later.

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