It happens to all of us. You log into your website and something has gone terribly wrong. All you see is a white screen, or a strange error message keeps popping up. The first instinct is to reach out to your support team and ask for help. And the good news is that we’ll be here for you and can most likely get your site back to normal quickly. But let’s look at ways that you can help us help you get back online faster.
The more information we have…
There are a few things you can do to help us solve problems when issues arise. They boil down to a fairly simple premise: The more information we have about an issue, the easier it will be to diagnose and solve that issue. Here are a few tips on how you can help provide us with as much information as possible:
1. Clearly state your issue
Here’s an example of a support request we recently received:
Hey guys, I just checked my contact page and it isn’t working. Can you take a look?
Yes, we certainly can take a look. But it would be better if we had more information up front so we don’t have to hunt around for what’s wrong. This would be a better way to phrase the request:
Hey guys, I just checked my contact page and I noticed the contact form is missing, can you take a look?
This gives us an idea of what we’re looking for. We don’t always know what content is on every page of your site. If we didn’t know this customers contact page contained a contact form, the page would look fine to us. At this point, we had to go back to the customer and ask to further explain the problem. Clearly stating an issue up front will save everyone time and get your site fixed quicker.
2. What is the expected behavior?
If something is missing on the site, or the site is broken in some way, letting us know the expected behavior or what you were expecting to see is a big help. Stating the issue in this way: I was expecting ABC to happen, but XYZ happened instead can give us context that is often very helpful in diagnosing an issue.
3. Describe relevant system details
Details like which browser you are using and which version operating system can sometimes give us insight. Problems with browsers are not as prevalent as they used to be, but if you happen to still be on Internet Explorer 8 that could explain a lot of things ;).
4. Describe what you were doing when the issue occurred
Retracing the steps you took before the issue occurred will help us to recreate the problem. If we can’t recreate an issue, it’s almost impossible to fix.
The best way to do this is to describe in detail, each and every step you took to see the issue.
5. Send relevant error codes
If an error pops up on a screen, copy it and send it along. We’ll usually be able to check the error logs, but any on-screen error is going to be helpful in diagnosing an issue.
6. Take a screenshot
If the issue is visual in nature, take a screenshot of what you’re seeing. If you can, annotate the screenshot with any relevant notes – like what you might be expecting to see.
7. List any solutions you’ve already tried
If you have tried any solutions to solve the issue that haven’t worked let us know. It will save us time running through the same attempted solutions. This information can also give us
The bottom line
The more information we have up front, the faster we will be able to solve an issue.
If we’ve fixed your site, let us know
One of the best things about our job here at Cinch is helping customers solve the little (and sometimes big) problems they have with their websites. If we’ve helped you out and you want to cheer about it,
Photo by Ronaldo Santos on Unsplash