Help Me Help You

Being in the field of IT consulting, I receive a large number of support requests from my customers, friends and family members. Sometimes there is a bug in the software I delivered. Sometimes the home PC of my friend is sluggish due to multiple anti-virus software and a large number of browser plug-ins installed. And his only hope is my advice. Here are few tips which will help me help you better.

  1. 1. Use descriptive subject for your email

    Subjects like ‘Please help me’, ‘Please solve this’ or ‘Urgent’ make it difficult to look through and prioritize an issue from my list. My list of things to do sometimes contains more than 100 items and subject makes it easy to choose the next one.

    You even do not need to repeat your request in the body of the email if the subject says it all.

  2. DO NOT USE ALL CAPITALS LIKE THIS. THESE ARE DIFFICULT TO READ AND ARE TAKEN FOR SHOUTING IN INTERNET COMMUNICATION ETIQUETTES.

  3. Provide a particular reference (form name, report name, invoice number etc.) to reproduce and understand the problem. Do not assume I am clever enough to figure it out all.

  4. More is better. Send one email for each different issue instead of combining all issues in one email.

  5. Use small sentences and numbered paragraphs to make your request clear.

  6. Do not send a new email to remind a pending issue. A reply to an already sent email with something like ‘A reminder, it is urgent’ keeps everything in context for both of us.
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