Top 5 Tips for Calling Computer Tech Support

Here are some excellent tips to help you the next time you need to call Technical Support for your computer, sent in by a community member who works for Dell XPS Premium Support.

  • Be Patient. As technical support agents, we have a wealth of information sitting at our fingertips. But before we can access the information, we have to pull up your account info, verify authorization to work on the computer, check the warranty status, document the case, and get a multitude of information from you before we can actually fix your problem. Be patient while the agent is trying to keep track of five different things while keeping you happy.
  • Be Cooperative. I wish the easy button was real, but it’s not. And while some problems can be fixed in three or less clicks of the mouse, you might have to get your hands dirty, and your fingers callused. If you are expecting someone else to do all the work for you, go to the Geek Squad. We do the best we can do over the phone, so work with us as we work with you.
  • Be Ready. If you call Technical Support, you likely have a problem. Saying “my computer doesn’t work” is not helping anybody. Be ready with the serial number on your machine (like Dell’s “Service Tag”), any error codes you might have, and as much information as you can gather regarding the problem, like what programs are running, under what circumstances the problem occurs, and what operating system you have. Being ready also involves being at your computer. Don’t call if you aren’t at your computer, ready to troubleshoot.
  • Be Time-Conscious. Your problem, no matter how small it seems to you, may take a long time to fix. So if you have to pick up the kids from school in 15 minutes, call after you get back. If you are expecting a phone call from your mother, call Technical Support after you have talked to your mother. And if you have a time frame, let us know so that we have our expectations set as well.
  • Be Patient. I can’t stress this enough. That’s why it’s the first and last. Alpha and omega.

15 thoughts on “Top 5 Tips for Calling Computer Tech Support”

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  2. I am impressed. Dell has at least one intelligent tech support agent. All too often, the focus is on ending the call rather than resolving the issue. I agree that the customer should prepare by collecting all the information possible before calling tech support, but remember that while having the information available makes you a valuable resource, delivering unneeded information wastes time. One item I would add to the original post is:

    Allow the tech support agent to take the lead

    A good tech support agent will develop routines to facilitate efficient issue identification and resolution. Exploit the agents expertise by following his/her lead. The agent may sound as if (s)he is reading from a script (and may even be doing so), but that is usually because the agent runs through the same set of routines (perhaps) several hundred times a day. Working with the agent rather than trying to dominate the call will yield the best result.

  3. yes, why can’t most people follow these simple steps. yes, this covers everything that could be asked before you start with the actual issue you are having.

  4. These are Great Top 5’s. Nobody like to call Tech Support but we all have to do it sometimes. For me the Hold Times is what i hate the most. The 3rd tip is also a good one. When People call Tech Support they shouldnt just say ” My computer is Broken”. They should be more Specific. For Example say My DVD drive isnt working or My screen flickers. What ever the Case is Be specific. Also like he mentions, BE AT YOUR COMPUTER. What the point of calling Tech Support about your Computer if your watching TV?. Well Overall these are great Tips.

    Eee ya Later

  5. yes being patient helps, but hopefully you can find out the answer online or from another source than the help line

  6. Ya, often times we think that the tech support staff will be fast and steadily handled. But the truth is it does take awhile, and you’ve got to be patient. This is a good article for people who have’nt had to use tech support, giving them a know how of how things really go down. Good job~

  7. Being in the chat chat a lot I do like to help people with any computer problems I can. Lots of people just jump in and type “my computer’s not working XD .” You have to be a least a little specific. Nice tips.

  8. This is a very solid top 5 list. It really stresses the important parts of how to deal with tech support. You really need to be co-operative and ready at all times. If not, it’s going to be hard for the person trying to help you to get much done. Also, having things like your computer’s service tag (if applicable) and other things like knowing what OS you run are useful to know. Things like some of the specs of your computer can be helpful to know as well. In some cases that information may come in handy for the person helping you out.

  9. While being patient should be first and last on your Tech support to do list, it should also be first on tech supports end as well. Every time I have ever called tech support (rarely) it seems as though they just want to get through with it as quick as possible and end the call before the problem is actually resolved. They need to know that not everyone that called tech support knows exactly what they are doing (they are calling for support after all).

  10. A useful tip, when calling tech support be at your pc with a hand held phone, BUT when put on hold, switch to speaker phone tell there ready to help you. This will make you less stressed, and better able to state what your problem is. Being put on hold is one the most stressful aspects of calling tech support.

    Also while on speaker phone your hands are free to gather all the needed information, and lets you continue your day tell there ready. Expect atleast a fifteen minute wait time for support in the off hours, and thirty when you know that the problem you have is common.

    Chances are if you know that three people are having your problem, that means there is atleast that many more that are calling tech support for help.

  11. I’ve had so many problems with my computer recently. I’ve been going through a variety of IT companies to try to fix it, from Geek Squad to a bunch of smaller companies and they’re all horrible. No one knows what they’re doing, and they charge a fortune. I found this new place, I know its not available everywhere, but in NY definitely, Nerd Force. The guys are awesome, they know what they’re doing, affordable, and much better than any other company I’ve ever used. They’re also really friendly and pleasant to deal with. Seriously, check out, you can input your zip code and it tells you if they have techs in your area.

  12. Being a technical support, you have to be patient with your client. Answer their questions and give solutions to their problem. You have to be careful with the instructions for there are some who finds it hard to catch the instructions. On the other side as a client, Looking for a technical support might be a little risky. Ask a friends advice and you can even find it through browsing the internet.

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