Editor’s note: It’s my pleasure to welcome back a good friend of mine, and today’s guest author – Thomas Jones. Thomas was the head of my department at Infusionsoft for a while, and before that, he was the director of the Technical Support team at Infusionsoft.

We all know what it’s like; you’re cruising along, working on some pretty cool stuff.

A tag here-

A link-click goal there-

KAPOW – Decision diamond configured

Then it happens.  You get stuck, an error code pops up, or a something strange happens.  What do you do?

You call support.

(I’ll readily acknowledge my bias here.  I spent exactly 5 years with Infusionsoft and even spent some of that time running the support team.  Having given you that disclaimer, I think Infusionsoft has some of the best support in the world.)

Even with a great support team, you’ll always have a rough experience on occasion.  I wanted to give you five things you can do to give yourself the best shot at getting a great experience every time.

1. Be prepared to talk about the result you’re looking for.

Notice, I didn’t say, “Know what you’re trying to do.”  Even though they’re close, they aren’t the same.  I saw it all of the time; someone calls in and asks how to do something.  The support person tells them, but it doesn’t produce the result the customer was looking for.  The question was asked and answered, but the customer was still frustrated because they didn’t get what they needed. Do you see the difference? Sometimes the thing you’re asking to do won’t produce the outcome you’re trying to achieve.

2. Do your best to see if you can replicate the issue you’re having.

This isn’t always applicable, but when you have the ability, arm the support rep with as much ammunition to attack the problem as you can.  If you’re getting an error, see if you can replicate it and save a screenshot or screencast. (You can download tools like Loom for Chrome, or jing from techsmith to create free recordings of your desktop as you retrace your steps.) The support rep absolutely wants to help you with your problem.  Anything you can give them will help that happen more quickly.  A note of caution, if you think something bad may have happened; don’t do this step.  Just write down the things you did leading up to it.  You don’t want to compound any potential issues.

(Editor’s note: It can also be helpful to do some basic trouble shooting on your own: Can you repeat the issue? Does the issue happen in more than one browser? If it’s only in one browser, can you try clearing your cache and cookies to see if that fixes it? I know how basic these things seem, but if you test these before you get on the phone/chat with support you’ll have a little more background ready to go.)

Yelling Through The Phone3. Treat the rep with respect.

You’re a business calling into a place of business, keep that in mind.  One of my first experiences at Infusionsoft was listening to the Director of Support getting on a call and telling a customer that we’d cut him loose if he kept berating our support rep.  It left a really strong impression on me.  The support reps are doing their best and are going to make mistakes on occasion.  As frustrated as you might get on occasion, remember it’s rarely a matter of always and never.  Meaning, they don’t always suck or never know what they’re talking about.  You’d be surprised how far mutual respect will go.

4. Make powerful requests.

One of the biggest problems in life is unspoken requests and assumed commitments.  I could write an entire blog post on just this one, but I’ll give you an overview.  Think about the difference between two people closing a conversation with, “Will you let me know what you find out?” and “Will you let me know by end of business tomorrow what you find out?”  Too often we’re afraid of pushing, so we hope they know how important this is.  Phrase your request so the only possible responses are yes, no, an alternative (I can’t have it by then, but how about XXX), a commit to commit (I can’t don’t know when I can have that for you, but I’ll let you know by tomorrow by 10 when I can have that for you).

Don’t leave it open ended.

(Editor’s Note: After you open a support ticket there is usually an automated email that is sent setting expectations for when they’ll get back to you, this automated email doesn’t necessarily reflect the conversation you just had. So if the messaging there is different than what the rep just told you, don’t panic. Automation isn’t always perfect.)

5. Don’t assume the answer you got was correct.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not saying you should assume the answer you get is wrong.  I’m simply saying, if it feels like the answer isn’t right or it doesn’t make sense, then don’t be afraid to keep looking for answers.  Ask your peers, join a group, call back in, do something.  I almost didn’t put this one because it’s so easy to turn this into a negative.  It’s not.  We all know Infusionsoft is capable of so much.  There’s nobody who knows everything.  I can tell you that nobody is going to think anything about you asking for a second opinion.

There you go.  It always stinks when you have to call support.  Not because they stink or it happens all of the time, but because it means you have to stop what you’re doing and make a call or log into the chat line.  When you do have to do that, give yourself the best shot at having a great experience.

Oh, and if you invest in high quality education you may find that you wind up with fewer support inquiries altogether. Now if only we knew someone with some awesome courses…

Would love to hear any additional tips or tricks you’ve picked up along the way!