This article is the fourth article in a series entitled “How to Get the Most out of Your Tech Support Calls,” and aims to provide information to help you have the best conversation you can with your technicians, so that you can get your problem solved right the first time. Click here to read Part One, Part Two, or Part Three of the series.

Active Listening

Image Credit: kkimpel

Imagine this. It’s still Monday afternoon. While you still can’t open that important report, you’ve performed your self-troubleshooting steps, have gathered the appropriate information, and have clearly communicated with the technician.

However, talking to tech support isn’t just about being good at giving information, you also need to be good at receiving information too. Your technician is there to help you, they want to help you, that’s their job, but in order for them to do their job, they need you to be an active part of the conversation. This means listening to what they are telling you, and following the instructions to a tee, and asking questions when you don’t understand.

Active Listening

One of the most important skills for talking to tech support is being able to be a good, active listener. To do this, simply repeat back, or paraphrase what the tech told you.

“Okay, so I right clicked on Computer, went to Properties, and now I’m in the Device Manger.”

Feeding information back to your technician this way

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shows that you listen, and also helps your tech understand exactly where you ware, what you’re looking at, and how you got there.

No Conclusions, No Second Guessing

Equally as important, is not second guessing your technician. It is okay to ask questions, and to help gain a better understanding of what they are telling you, but don’t just assume that you know what they are going to tell you.

Once you receive instructions, follow them, inform the tech of the progress, and when the task is complete, wait for additional information. Don’t jump ahead and try to fix or do something else while you’re waiting, you’ll only end up frustrating yourself and possibly confusing your technician.

Mastering these easy listening skills, along with the good communication skills, will go a long way in bettering your tech support conversations so that they are more productive the first time, reducing your need for additional support calls.

So, what if the tech can’t help, or what if you need to follow up afterwards? Stay tuned for the next, and final, installment of How to Get The Most Out of Your Tech Support Calls, Part Five: Alternate Resolutions and Follow Up.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you get the most out of your tech support calls. Email: [email protected].

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