How to request support?

In Web Services we get a lot of support requests,  these range from bug reports, feature requests and job requests to our fans hounding us for signed autographs.  Your first point of contact with us is by emailing the IT Service Desk from Outlook or by calling #7444.  This is your time to shine!  Without clear succinct communication it makes it difficult to deliver efficient support and allocate resources.  Don’t forget, whilst you might have one issue, we’re currently dealing with tens of them, and have recently dealt with hundreds (out of tens of thousands that IT Services deal with), we can’t remember everything.

  • Report one issue at a time.  This allows the issues to be prioritised individually and multiple team members can work on them at once.  It also gives the best clarity in tracking the issue.
  • Writing a clear email subject.  This is crucial.
    Good: Image on homepage is broken
    Bad: broken
    Good: Multiple login failures on GO leads to white screen
    Bad: login not working
  • Begin with summary.  Open with a quick summary of the problem.
  • Include web links.  This one thing is almost the most important, and crucial component for us, yet is often left out leaving us to guess or have to wait chasing replies.  We’re a team dealing with thousands of web pages, we don’t always know what you’re talking about.
  • Username. Another very important detail when reporting an issue, regarding a user or users, is always to include their username(s).
  • Include screenshots.  A picture paints a thousand words, try and include full screenshots.   You can do this by pressing the “Print Screen” button next to “Scroll Lock” and then pasting (right click-> paste, or CTRL+V) into the email.
  • Full steps to reproduce the problem.  If we can’t reproduce the problem you are having, it’s very hard for us to fix it.  Help us to help you.
  • Case numbers.  If you are chasing up an issue (or a case as we often refer to them), then please, please, put that case number in the email subject.  This automagically links it with all the information about your case.  It makes our job a million times easier, no joke.  The easiest thing to do is find the email that the IT Service Desk gave you and reply to that.
    Referring to colleagues case?  Include the case number in your message!

If you work with a member of our team often, you might think it’d be better to email them directly with your request.  Don’t.  It interrupts our work in progress making it take many times longer, which prevents us from finishing it and helping you.  It also circumvents our tracking systems, so we can’t see if your issue is important and needs fixing quickly.  Having issues come in to a central place allows us to see trends and spot failures faster.  What if someone is too busy or off ill with no out of office on?  Well your issue might well remain unresolved for a very long time.

Keeping all support requests coming through the IT Service Desk allows us to work as a team, see big problems occurring and find the right information at the right time.

All this helps us to work more efficiently 🙂

Thank you for reading this far!!!