Helpdesk Hints: How to Write the Perfect Support Ticket
3rd April 2023 | PTFS-Europe
Here at PTFS Europe we get a lot of support tickets coming in every day, and you can help us to respond quickly by making sure you try to keep to the following suggestions. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t, but our responses may just be a bit slower!
1) Most importantly, please log just one issue per ticket. When tickets are separated out into individual issues, we can have several consultants looking at each issue concurrently. If you log several issues in the one ticket, only one consultant can work on all of them. If your tickets end up being connected to each other then we can merge the tickets into one, but we can’t easily split them up into different tickets.
2) Please explain clearly what the problem is. The problem might be obvious to you, but remember we are coming at it fresh and don’t know the background. Have you included any steps necessary to reproduce the problem? Screenshots can sometimes speak a thousand words. Exactly what error are you seeing, and what would you expect to see if the system was working properly? Is everybody affected, or just one or two users? If so, please tell us which users so that we can compare and contrast between those that work and those that don’t. Examples are always super useful.
3) Be concise! While we love to hear from our customers and are always happy to chat, please try to avoid drowning us in too much detail. It is normally possible to explain the problem in sufficient detail in a couple of paragraphs. If you send us several pages of information and speculation as to what you think the problem might be, it becomes difficult for us to identify what the problem is, and which parts of your report are actually relevant to our investigation. We will always ask for more information if we need it.
4) Please don’t send us your whole user database attached to the ticket. If we need the whole database, we can let you upload it somewhere securely. We don’t routinely delete attachments from our helpdesk system so they not only take up a lot of disk space, but they also pose a potential GDPR risk to your users.
5) If you send a screenshot, please don’t crop out the URL. The URL tells us a lot of information that is lost if it is cropped out.
6) Routine problems should ideally be logged by email or via the helpdesk portal. If you have a serious issue – like a system down – then by all means phone us! We will probably already be aware of the problem and will be working on it, but just in case we aren’t aware, a phone call will be the quickest way to bring it to our attention.
7) Please try to avoid any “oh, by the way’s”, particularly when the original problem has been resolved. It’s better to log a new ticket with the new issue, than continue it in an old ticket. By all means reference the original ticket number if you think they are connected.
8) Finally, don’t be shy! Don’t live with an unreported problem that you are having to try to work around – we are here to help, and even if we can’t fix your problem we may have some helpful suggestions that will hopefully make your lives easier!