It’s bound to happen that at some point, the system you’re using isn’t going to do what you want it to do, and you’ll need to submit a support request to your vendor. Let me help you get the answer you’re looking for quickly and efficiently, by first helping you to ask your vendor a good question.

As you begin submitting a support request, there are a few things to keep in mind as you’re framing your request:

  • Take the time to go through the provided form (if any). It takes just a couple minutes to select from the options and fill in the fields in the form, which helps the vendor’s support staff to understand what issue you are having and it can get you to your answer a lot faster. Make sure that you’ve included your email address or other contact information. You may be surprised by how many people forget to do this step, and if that information isn’t supplied it will take extra time to look into who exactly made the request before the problem can be resolved.
  • Assume the support staff don’t know what has led you to submit the support request. Rarely do I say someone should assume something, but in this case I’ll make an exception. This means you need to supply accurate and concise information. Describe what you’re trying to accomplish and what steps you have taken to try to reach the results. Explain where in the process the system stopped doing what you expected it to. Being vague about what isn’t working properly leads to much more back and forth as the support staff try to narrow down what exactly isn’t working for you.
  • Although it may be a bug, don’t assume that it is. Many times the problem isn’t a bug, it is ‘user error’ – an instance of the user not knowing how to use a certain function of the system or not knowing the system could do a particular something. Try to keep this in mind as you ask for support, before jumping to conclusions that there are bugs in the system.
  • Remember there are real people on the other end of the support request. Although it’s not required for you to be courteous, it doesn’t hurt and it often helps. The odds are that you will be in contact more than once with whomever is helping you, so it’s nice to not let the frustration pour into the request. Remember that the support staff are there to help you figure it out.

Make sure to keep in mind that some form of training is generally included for clients (with the Databank, training for any user of the system is included at no additional charge for the life of the account). Make sure to take advantage of any available training offered so you know how to fully utilize the system. If you aren’t sure if training is included in whatever software you’re using… send a support request to find out!