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How To Quickly Troubleshoot Technical Issues When Working Online

Michelle Dale - Monday, August 29, 2011
In any business technical problems can occur. Depending on the scale of the business and the number of systems used, technical issues with software and services can easily occur often. Most of these may be linked to 3rd parties, and as virtual assistants we tend to spend an excessive amount of time trying to solve them ourselves, but there is a quicker option. The key with  troubleshooting any technical issue quickly is to immediately seek assistance — always, directly from the source.

Step #1:

Work out where the root cause of the issue is, was it a person, a machine or a system or a service.

Step #2:

Go to the website for the party responsible and do a search for your problem, many sites will have an FAQ, a troubleshooting section or a community support forum.

Step #3:

If you can’t find an answer there, do a quick search on Google to see if anyone has had the issue, be sure to put this in simple terms and mention the name of the company, system or software. Sometimes people blog about their issues or post on other forums. You may find the answer this way, but generally, if it’s a complicated or urgent matter, after stage 2, I would go to stage 4.

Step #4:

If you can’t find what you are looking for accessible publicly, search the site for a contact email, or support desk where you can submit a ticket. When you explain your problem be as clear and concise as possible and include key items pertinent or applicable such as:

  • Exact error messages, and at what point they appear.
  • Screenshots.
  • A Jing video replicating the problem.
  • Website links.
  • Usernames / associated account email address.
  • Names and titles of items, sections, modules etc…
  • Exact location of the error.

Make it as easy as possible for the support staff to assist you efficiently. Tell them exactly what happened, when and where.

Step #5:

If they send an auto responder giving you a timeframe for a response, then follow up if you don’t hear from them within that time frame, copying and pasting the exact original message you sent onto a new email, or updating the existing support ticket if it’s in a Support centre.

Hopefully this will result in solving the issue, if they are unable to help, go back to them and explain what your end result needs to be, or objective is and see if they can suggest an alternative option.

Technical problems arise every day, and whilst they can be extremely frustrating when they are not within our power or control to fix, we can at least try and deal with resolving them as quickly as possible.



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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.



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