Friday, October 1, 2010

Tips for filing a support ticket with properietary software that you use at work

1. Be friendly but make the case that you're incapable of doing some part of your job properly. People that yell the loudest (but are friendly) and make a strong case will typically have their issues fixed first. You want to create a sense of guilt at the vendor, not hate, so someone will be more likely to work overtime or bust their ass to fix your problem.
2. You describe clearly what the problem is (more than just "it doesn't work")
3. Describe clear steps to reproduce the problem from start to finish. Include your starting point, relevant data entered and items clicked. This is very important, because it takes forever to fix a bug that can't be easily duplicated. Further, you might get stuck with nothing happening because they think you're doing something wrong.
4. Describe the results you're seeing ("Error Message _____", calculation is 10 cents off, field that's allowed to be blank is required, etc)
5. Describe the results you should be seeing. This is important because the software developer should have a QA team and be able to take the steps from #2 and make sure they've actually fixed the problem instead of simply breaking something in a different way.