Ecommerce 101: How to Ask a Support Question

Support101In today’s online commerce world, customers have come to expect fast and efficient communication. The Volusion software contains a vast array of features and tools, but knowing which features to enable for your particular business can feel intimidating. Enter Volusion Customer Experience, a team dedicated to giving you fast answers to technical questions and helping you troubleshoot the software so you can effectively manage your online business.

For our support technicians to assist you in this fast and efficient way, it’s important to keep a few tips and tricks in mind when reaching out. The following tips will help you to quickly get the answers you need and get back to selling in no time!

Clear Communication is Key

First and foremost, clear communication is essential in any technical interaction. Just as you work with your customers to provide a succinct and satisfying experience in your online store, we strive to provide that same thoroughness when troubleshooting issues or answering your questions about the Volusion platform. In your first contact with support, explaining the specifics of your question in clear, concise terms can eliminate much of the back and forth that normally occurs in a support conversation. Remember the three W’s when writing your ticket or making your call:

  • Where did the issue occur?
  • What were you doing at the time? What was the result?
  • When did it first occur? When did it stop (if it stopped)?

Then, apply these questions with shared Volusion terminology. For example, telling a support representative “I want to change how my titles look” is not as clear as “I want to change the color of my navigation menus from black to red.”

The Devil is in the Details

Our Customer Experience team is here to help with any technical questions you have about the software and, sometimes, it can get very technical! The software is a powerful tool, capable of helping you implement and enable the features that work best for your business. Due to this versatility, providing as much detail as possible helps the support team quickly diagnose and resolve the issue. Effective details to provide include: where you were in the admin, what you were doing there, the steps you took, when in the process you triggered the “problem,” and what you were trying to accomplish from the start. This can provide a wealth of information that can help us find the root cause of the issue and informs how we will assist you.

You can take this a step further by informing our team of any steps you’ve taken to investigate or troubleshoot the issue, such as whether it happened on a single page or many, if it occurred just once or is repeatable, if you cleared your browser’s cache and cookies and restarted, if the issue was reported to you by a specific customer and you tried to replicate it, and much more. These important details help us get closer to the root cause and, ultimately, the solution!

Specificity is Your Friend

Sometimes, in an effort to provide all the relevant information to support, it can be difficult to stay succinct. This is where specificity comes in handy: nailing down what is important and relevant to the issue at hand. There are situations where detail alone does not give support enough to diagnose the situation. For example, you may discover that one of your products is showing an error page. Copying the entire error page’s text may not be enough information if the support representative doesn’t know the context, such as how the error page triggered in the first place. Likewise, if you own multiple stores under the same My Volusion account, let us know the one you are calling about in the initial statement so we can skip that question and get to the heart of the matter! Specificity can be especially important for tickets, which entail communication that isn’t as immediate as chats or phone calls.

Speaking of a product causing an error page, a picture is worth a thousand words! Attaching a screenshot of the issue to your ticket can provide us with an accurate view that would take much longer to type out. It’s a good idea to describe this image in your ticket, stating how you came to see it. More often than not, an empty ticket with a screenshot will only delay the resolution as the support representative attempts to figure it out without context. Another time saver is making a ticket through your My Volusion account, rather than by email. Although it might seem faster to send an email to support@volusion.com, our support specialists may have to take extra time to verify security questions before providing any store-specific info, as an email could be from anyone! And speaking of security, it’s a good idea to have your security questions ready when in a call or chat with our support department, just in case!

Ultimately, clear communication, attention to detail and specificity are your biggest tools in working with our support staff. These tips will ensure efficient interactions and get you back to running your online store in no time. Together we can keep your customers’ store browsing free of missteps and ensure that your business provides a pleasant and profitable experience for everyone involved. Remember: your success is our success!

About 

Michael Crary is an avid reader, writer, and student of history in Austin, Texas. When he isn’t helping merchants maximize their business, you can find him playing bored games, enjoying movie and food trailers, and making terrible puns.

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