Tech Support: Guidelines for a Less Stressful Experience

Okay, so you need help with your electronic device… you would rather have your toe nails ripped off, or a root canal with no anesthesia. For some folks, talking to tech support is just as bad of an experience. Either you get someone you can’t understand or they just don’t understand what you want from them. Your device has decided to take on a mind of it’s own and is not doing what it should be doing and it is making you so angry and frustrated you could just spit. Set the computer down, do not throw it out the window, count to 3 and breathe.


There are a number of things you can do prior to placing that phone call which will minimize or even eliminate this occasional challenging experience. There is no reason you should get all worked up, raise your blood pressure and be distressed. Remember the person at the other end of the phone call had nothing to do with your problem and is only there to assist.

I was a Girl Scout as a child. The Scout Motto is “Be Prepared”. This can apply to pretty much all aspects of life. Whether you are talking to an auto mechanic, or your hairdresser, it’s all the same. Take my advice and I guarantee the entire experience will be less daunting.


Here are a few tips to get you in the proper mode to talk to Tech Support (this applies to any form of customer service you may encounter, some things may be a little different but not much)

  1. Be sure you are mentally prepared for the call and you are in a good mindset. If you are agitated or frustrated, refrain from dialing the number and wait until you are a bit more at ease and relaxed and have time to dedicate to the call. It may take a while (I say this from experience).
  2. If you have an error message popping up on your screen, have the exact phrasing of the message ready and available to share with the technician. Just saying, “I am getting some kind of error message popping up” does not provide much for the technician to go on. The better you describe what is happening the easier and faster the problem(s) can be resolved.
  3. Speak slowly and distinctly. Keep in mind that, while maybe you have been dealing with this problem for a few hours, the person at the end of the phone line is only hearing about it now. And, if they are speaking too quickly, ask them nicely to please slow down.
  4. Let the person know if the event happened after you installed or removed hardware or software. Don’t just say “I’ve never had this happen to me before, I just don’t understand I didn’t do anything wrong.” No one is accusing you of doing anything, these things happen to everyone and you were not singled out.
  5. Call from a quiet area. A barking dog, the TV or radio on in the background, or a baby crying is not conducive to helping troubleshoot your problem. Do not take another call thru call waiting and expect the person from Tech Support to sit and hold while you yak with someone else.
  6. Have several pieces of information readily available. Know exactly what version of Windows you are running, the brand and model of your computer, and how much RAM your computer has.
  7. Stay focused on the problem(s) at hand. The person on the other end of the line is not interested in hearing your opinion on various software companies or vendors. Remember there are others that need help too. Chances are you are in a queue and they want to help you as much as you want them to help you. Stay on task!
  8. Always be sure to get a name and the support ticket or incident number of the phone call, in the event you need to call back. Chances are you will get someone different and they can look up the number and see what has been done so far to assist you. There is nothing more frustrating than having to repeat everything all over to someone new (been there done that, before I took my own advice to heart).

I help frustrated people all the time in my computer business. Yelling at me is not going to help resolve the problem. Put yourself in the person’s shoes at the other end of the phone. Keeping cool, calm and collected is a WIN-WIN situation all round.


2 thoughts on “Tech Support: Guidelines for a Less Stressful Experience”

  1. Nice article Sherri this is a great guideline for any one calling tech support. Techs have feelings to …. well the good ones do. Being prepared when calling into tech support helps everyone out. It saves time and makes it less stressful.

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