Online Support

Online Support: 5 Tips To Get Better Results

As a website owner or admin, it’s pretty reasonable to assume that you’re going to need to request online support from a number of different organisations, including web hosts, plugin developers, domain registration companies and more.

Improve Your Online Support Experience

In a world where the expectation of instant gratification is high, there’s a lot YOU can do improve the standard of support you’re requesting.

As a WordPress support provider I am continually surprised and often frustrated at the requests for help I receive that provide too little information for me to be able to assist. So, here are my top 5 tips that will improve the quality of support you receive.

Be pleasant & friendly

OK, so it sounds a little obvious, but if you start a support request with an aggressive tone, it immediately puts the recipient on edge, and is likely to make them less inclined to help you.

Adopt a friendly tone to your support ticket even if you’re a little unhappy. Appeal to the better nature of your support agent,and you can expect a positive, friendly response in return.

Provide as much information as possible

When submitting a ticket, generally you’ll expect a speedy response and resolution to your issue. To that end, a support ticket stating that “my website isn’t working” doesn’t really give your support agent much to work on, so don’t be surprised if the reply is a request for more information rather than an announcement that the issue is resolved.

It’s always useful to provide the following;

  • When the problem began
  • The location of the problem, i.e. web address, domain name, email address etc.
  • A screenshot of the issue, or copy/paste the error message you experienced
  • What steps you took leading up to the issue
  • How to replicate the issue again (This is essential to help the support agent see the problem for themselves if possible)
  • What you have tried so far to resolve the issue
  • A licence key, account number or something that will help the support agent confirm you are a valid customer or have a qualifying product

Be clear about what you want to happen

In the same way that it helps to explain what your expectations are when making a complaint, the same can be useful when requesting support.

If your issue is of a technical nature, support agents can often assume prior knowledge or understanding and reply with information or guidelines that can simply go over your head.

Make clear what your limitations in understanding are, i.e. if you’re a complete newbie, then be honest and say so, you’re far more likely to get a more constructive, step by step response.

If you’re looking for a specific outcome or response, be clear about what would resolve the issue for you.

Be Patient

If you’re anything like me, you’re not the most patient of people, and when you’re in a hurry, sometimes it can be extremely frustrating when waiting for a reply to an online support issue.

If your issue is urgent, there may be a live chat option available offering immediate communication.

The nature of the internet means that while you may submit a support ticket or enquiry at 2pm, it could well be 3am in the country where the website is based. This is particularly common for me when requesting support for WordPress plugins, the result being that the reply often arrives overnight and is waiting for me when I open my email in the morning.

Also beware of submitting multiple replies to your ticket when you don’t receive an immediate response.  Many online support applications will simply place your ticket back at the end of the queue each time you submit more comments, hence you’ll wait longer for a reply.

Don’t be afraid to say you’re not happy with the support you’ve received

Sadly not all online support agents are as helpful as you might hope. One of the most frequent and frustrating situations is when the agent has clearly read only the first line of the request and quickly fired off a canned response without paying full attention to what you were actually asking.

In these situations, be persistent and don’t allow the agent to fob you off. I recently had a support experience spanning several days where I knew exactly what needed to be done, and despite being told that it had been resolved, I was still experiencing the original problem..

Fortunately, 3 days and many exchanges later with 3 different support agents, the job was finally completed correctly.

A lot of online support portals now offer the option to escalate an issue if you’re not happy with the agent you’re dealing with. Don’t be afraid to use it if you’re unhappy with the way you’re being dealt with.

Tamsin Jago
May 8, 2024

Bob is fantastic, super helpful. Recently moved my hosting over to him. Had a couple of queries and he fixed everything I needed him to, he went above and beyond. Would high recommend.

Martina Munzittu
April 26, 2024

Bob manages three websites for me and he's brilliant at what he does. Every time I have a question or need help to add or change something, he's always prompt and ready to support. We know how sometimes WordPress can screw things up with updates, or a plugin that stops working, Bob is there fixing it before I even realise there's an issue. He's so reliable and I never have to worry about things breaking. This peace of mind is invaluable.

Jon Kinge
March 28, 2024

Bob has been really helpful in the much needed redesign of our website, and set-up of our new webshop. He has been supportive and quick in responding to any queries we've had since and we would highly recommend him. Thanks Bob! :) Abby & Jon

Training Mentor
December 15, 2023

We use Bob at SushiWP for our website. He comes highly recommended as a reliable and professional web developer. Excellent communication and high quality work.

Paul Weller
December 15, 2023

Brilliant service. Bob is extremely knowledgeable and efficient. He explains everything clearly and delivers results in a timely manner. I highly recommend his services. Thank you!

Lee Downer
December 13, 2022

When creating the website for the Duke of Connaught's Own Club, Bob was tasked with one thing; that when people open our page, the reaction is "Wow, where do I go first". Bob did not disappoint. He has developed a first class site that shows off all that is good about our Club. A very friendly guy and very easy to work with. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Darcy's Bistro & Bar
October 28, 2022

Nothing is never to much to ask , we are a new business and litrally bob has just helped us lift it of the ground with no stress as you have so many things to think about when opening a new business! .We just gave a few very vague ideas and bob put the whole website together , thank you so much :)

Really really pleased with my new website. I love it! It works brilliantly, most of our clients book online and we always get great comments from them about how good our web site is. Bob was great at listening to what I wanted and how I wanted it to look and work. He goes that extra mile, several in my case as we made quite a few changes along the way. We need to update our web page weekly with new content and Bob made that really easy for us to do and created a video to show us how to do it. I highly recommend him to anyone wanting a brilliant web page. Thanks a million Bob, its so good to have a web page I am really proud of.

barrie bampton
September 23, 2021

We have been dealing with Bob for over 9 years and have found him to be very professional Always on hand for any support if needed Would highly recommend this company

Swanmore Cars Admin
September 16, 2021

Fantastic service from bob from start to finish took time to explained every step and was very patient with me who is not grate with computers and even took time out to come and show me how things worked definitely recommend to anyone for a website

Mark Warr
September 14, 2021

After the 1st lock down we realised we needed a stronger website , Bob came as a recommendation and at the 1st meeting both companies clicked which is so important, At Sushi Wp they listen to our ideas and our vision on how we wanted the site to look and function, over coming issues with site traffic and bespoke development to help us give our customer a great web experience.Great Work Bob and his team

Pip Weller
July 1, 2021

Bob has created our dream website. It's everything we wanted and more! Bob has gone above and beyond and is always gets back to you straight away. Highly recommend SushiWP

Hazel Hopkinson
November 11, 2020

Bob at SushiWP has proved to be invaluable in building my businesses new website! He is not afraid to talk to you personally rather than via email and doesn't blind you with science when discussing the technicalities of the World Wide Web! I would highly recommend this very patient human.

Simply Hog Roast
February 6, 2020

Great firm, very professional and easy to deal with. Great communication, modern and vibrant ideas. Awsome value for money. I can easily recommend SushiWp to everyone looking for a decent website and many more related stuff. I Will be using them again soon. Thank you Bob. Great stuff. Raffa Ziegler Simply Hog Roast

SushiWP has been my website design & development partner for a couple of years now. In that time they replaced my very out-dated website with a streamlined new one that has resulted in a steep increase in orders, thanks mainly to a successful search engine optimisation & marketing campaign that has elevated many of my products onto page one of Google. I'd happily recommend them to anyone!

Orbitpress Limited
February 18, 2019

SushiWP have always been very helpful, friendly and quick to respond to any issues we've had regarding our website or emails, sorting them swiftly so we can get on with our business. We love our latest website design. Orbitpress would definitely recommend them.

Ellie Whitehall
February 18, 2019

I found Bob to be really easy to work with. He really understood my needs and developed a website that I am really pleased with. Any changes have been made quickly and easily. I would definitely recommend SushiWP.

Nik Kershaw
February 15, 2019

Web design and hosting is a completely foreign world to me so I need a company I can trust to guide me through it. SushiWP are that company. They are knowledgeable and creative and any issues that inevitably crop up from time to time are dealt with promptly and with little fuss. I can't recommend SushiWP strongly enough.

Spec Lens
February 15, 2019

SushiWP have served me well in creating and supporting my commercial website. They provide a friendly, professional creative, supportive service.

Sue Adlam
February 14, 2019

The support that I've received from Bob of SushiWP has been totally amazing. I totally trust his integrity as a business owner and he is very personable/easy to chat to. His expertise and advice is always given with generosity and I trust him to offer the right options for me based on what I need and what I can afford. A rare commodity not often found in business - it's good to know that there are experts around that not only know their industry well, but take the trouble to consider how that applies to each individual - a truly bespoke service.

Barnaby Howe
February 14, 2019

Super service and a great website.

Sam Colverd
February 13, 2019

Since Sushi WP rebuilt my website, enquiries have increased and Bob was really helpful in sourcing and testing a great online booking system which has transformed my business! Highly recommended.

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