I’m no Excel ninja but I know my way around Microsoft. My coworkers treat me like their own private Office 365 Support. I’m usually happy to share a pro tip. But sometimes even I get stuck. Recently, I got hung up modifying a VBA macro in Excel. I worked on it for hours and research got me nowhere. Relenting, I swallowed my pride and submitted a support ticket to Microsoft … and waited … and thought about my deadline. Full of nervous energy I wrote down what I could do on a support call to get to the solution as fast as possible. Here’s what I came up with:
Temper your temper. You didn’t have time for this problem and the software should just work. But customer support isn’t here to unravel your anger management issues. A skilled support person knows how to de-escalate, but why waste their energy talking you off a ledge when they could be working on solving your issue. Take my advice, rage won’t accelerate solutions. Just breathe, stay in the present, and be as helpful as possible.
Keep your story straight. Be ready to provide context. Don’t just say it’s broken. Be prepared to communicate each step to recreate the problem. If you can do this it will move the call toward a solution or it will speed up a hand-off if the issue has to be escalated to another tier of support.
Follow the process. Refer to rule one about your temper. You’re out of patience. You’ve tried everything on your own. Now someone wants you to try something you already know won’t work? Remember, professional support people, are analysts. They have a process to break issues apart to isolate problems. They have a script. There are basic steps taken to remove false positives. Just work with them.
Go ahead, ask! If you give a man a fish, he will be hungry tomorrow. If you teach a man to fish, he will be richer forever. It may not feel like the best moment for a lesson, but you have to make this problem [your] solution. If you don’t understand how they fixed it, ask them to show you again. It’s vital to learn how to solve these issues for yourself.
But, what if they can’t help? Or worse, what if the support person is lousy? This happens, and after you have given them a chance you can ask them to escalate. Escalation is literally part of their support script. If your person is stuck they are relieved when you suggest moving on to another person.
I heard back from Microsoft and I behaved myself on the support call. I got the issue solved and I know what to do if it happens again. The call took a considerable amount of time and certainly wasn’t pain-free. I wished they knew me and understood my business better like our managed IT services team at Preactive IT Solutions. I’m hoping it will be a while before I get stuck with something in Microsoft, but when I do, I’m thrilled to know that Preactive IT Solutions now offers Office 365 Support from their always-available help desk.