Tech Tips: Techical Support

Written by | Tech

Being a Tech Support it is our job to troubleshoot and resolve any technical issues of the customer, as long as it is within our scope of support. More often than not, when a customer calls they don’t even know what their problem is, if they are doing the right steps, if they are in the correct Help area or worst if they even know that they have a problem.

So it is our job to determine the problem of the customer and provide the necessary help or direct them to the right help area.

Below are some tips to determine and isolate the problem or better understand the problem of the customer.

A. System requirements
Checking the customer’s system configuration will allow you to know if the problem lies in the hardware configuration of the customer. Knowing the software the customer is trying to install is also as important as knowing the computer where it is being installed.

An example of this is the customer is trying to install Software A on a Win 95 OS. Without knowing that the customer is using Win 95 and now knowing the System Requirement of Software A, troubleshooting this will be next to impossible.

Sample step that we can use for checking the system of a customer:
Request for the SYSTEM INFORMATION file of the customer’s computer.
Steps to save a system info file:

Win XP:
1. Click on START then RUN, on the text box, type MSINFO32.
2. Click on the OK button.
3. From the SYSTEM INFORMATION screen, on the File menu, click Save.
4. In Save in, click a file location.
5. In File name, type the file name.
6. In Save as type, click a file type.
7. Click Save.
NOTE: You can also open SYSTEM INFORMATION by clicking on START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > SYSTEM TOOLS > SYSTEM INFORMATION.

Win Vista:

1. Click on START then on the SEARCH box, type MSINFO32 or press on Windows key then the letter R.
2. From the SYSTEM INFORMATION screen, on the File menu, click Save.
3. In Save in, click a file location.
4. In File name, type the file name.
5. In Save as type, click a file type.
6. Click Save.
NOTE: You can also open SYSTEM INFORMATION by clicking on START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > SYSTEM TOOLS > SYSTEM INFORMATION.

NOTE: Depending on the issue, you can ask other information regarding the customer’s computer.

Since you are checking the customer’s computer and cross checking it with the product’s system requirements, familiarity with the product’s system requirement will also come into play.

So if the customer is trying to install GTA IV and you found out that he is using a computer that has a Pentium III processor, just cut to the chase tell him that he has an old computer. This will even save you on your call time. 🙂

“Dude, you have a granny for a PC get a new one!!!”

B. Error Messages.
When a software and even hardware fails, they will always give out an error message. An error message is the best information that a customer can give you to isolate the problem.

Getting the error message will the best troubleshooting steps that you can do… 🙂

If possible, also request the customer for a screen shot of the error message. If they do not know how to get a screen shot, below are steps on how to get a screen shot.

For Windows visit this site from Microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/tips/screenshot.mspx

For Mac OSes, please visit this page from Apple:
http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#tutorial=screenshot

You can then ask the customer to save the image as a file, then send it to you as a file attachment.

Knowing the exact error message will allow us to determine if the problem is with the software, OS (Windows XP or Vista), and hardware.

For Windows and its Hardware error messages, these error messages usually appears even before you open any software, example is the FATAL OE error, the ILLEGAL OPERATIONS or the dreaded BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH… hehehehe..

The most common cause of these error messages are low system resources, conflicting software, outdated driver, damaged hardware or damaged OS. Sometimes, restarting the computer resolves the problem especially if the customer hasn’t restarted or shut down the computer for a long time.

If they are getting the OS and Hardware error messages, it is best to refer them to their respective support channel. You can access the site below for the different Hardware and software vendor contact information. http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors.

NOTE: If the customer is on a different region, you may want to check the exact contact number of their hardware vendor on their region.

For example: http://www.computer.com.au/

If all the above steps fail to gather the error message of the customer, the best way to retrieve the error message is to get the SYS Info file. You can refer to the steps above.

C. Recreate the problem or trace where the problem happens.
If the customer is not getting error message but they insists that they have a problem, the best way to determine the problem is to recreate the problem with the customer. Recreating or tracing the steps will let us know if the problem is with the steps or with the software itself.

From there we can determine what type of help to provide the customer and if the problem is with their computer, OS or our software.

Bottom line, knowing the root cause of the problem will determine the best and accurate solution.

Happy Tech Supporting… hehehehe… >:-)

Last modified: December 17, 2008

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Tech Tips: Techical Support

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