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Before You Submit Your Support Request, Please Take The Following Steps
How To Write A Good Support Email
How To Write A Good Subject Line
What to include in your Email Message
New support requests/enquiries in separate email threads
If your website issue is urgent
If you have an emergency issue (such as website down, or checkout not working)

Don’t worry, I get it…When something goes wrong on your website or you want some changes made, you want it solved as quickly as possible.

Before I started providing website support to clients, I sent plenty of technical support requests to businesses, and I did use to get frustrated at all the back and forth emails, and the extended time it took to solve my problem.

In the past I was often very vague in explaining the issue I was having because I assumed that the support team knew exactly what I would be referring to straight away. That was until I started providing website support to clients myself, and sat on the other side of the support desk…

What I quickly realised was that I could speed up the support troubleshooting process substantially by spending a couple more minutes to provide more information up-front.

So to make life better for both of us we have come up with a few things that you can do to help us to provide a better service to you.

Here’s how you can help…

Before You Submit Your Support Request, Please Take The Following Steps

  1. Clear your browser cache to ensure your browser isn’t storing an old website file that is causing the problem –  Test the website in an incognito/private browser window (instructions: https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001378.htm) to ensure that your browser hasn’t stored an old copy/cache of the site’s files.
  2. If possible and relevant, test the website on another device such as a laptop and a mobile to try to replicate this issue.

How To Write A Good Support Email (PLEASE READ)

Using concise, useful information the first time you reach out with a support request can be the difference between an instant solution and one that takes hours or days.

Even if you don’t understand exactly what the issue is, you have the best chances of getting your issue solved quickly if you are able to communicate a few essential pieces of information…

The two important parts to an email request are:

  • Crafting a useful subject line that summarises the issue/s
  • Clear details and screenshots/screencasts within the main body of the email

Useful Subject Lines

Bad subject lines give no context, are hastily written, and waste valuable time.

Bad Examples:

a. URGENT!!!
b. Need help now!! Site is BROKEN!!

Good subject lines can still convey urgency, while explaining why an issue is so important right off the bat.

Good Examples:

a. URGENT: 500 Error on product detail page
b. When I click the link below I get a 404/Page Not Found Error

The full description or message body is next. Details, details, details… give as much information as possible!

Email Detail

Here’s a list of things to consider when crafting your initial support request:

Use short sentences and bullet points to communicate clearly.

The first step our developer will take to solve the problem is to reproduce the issue themselves, this makes it essential that you write clear instructions about how you found the issue and how we can follow your instructions to replicate it.

  • What is the URL of the page where the problem occurs?
  • What steps need to be taken to reproduce the problem?
  • Have you made any changes to the website that may be related
  • Can the issue be replicated on multiple devices/browsers?
  • What browser and operating system are you using? E.g. “I’m using Safari on my Macbook”
  • Do you see any specific error messages? (please provide the exact error message)
  • Include screenshots and/or video screencasts/recordings

Pictures paint a thousand words and this is definitely true when it comes to communicating the details of a website issue.

Please provide a screenshot of the problem (instructions: http://www.take-a-screenshot.org/) or sometimes a screencast/video is the only way to show what you’re seeing on a moving part – Loom is an easy to use, free tool to create screencasts (www.useloom.com)

A great browser screenshotting tool we use is Lightshot where you can also add arrows and text to help illustrate the problem. I highly recommend downloading it. You can do screenshots like this in literally 10 seconds:

Example of a good support request email

Here is an example of a nice and simple, but descriptive email about an issue.

Example: Website Problem

Subject:
Image displaying behind text on ‘What We Do’ page

Body:

Hi Clare,

There is an image going behind the text on my ‘What We Do’ page

Steps to replicate:

  • Go to https://www.staticshift.com.au/what-we-do/ on Google Chrome
  • Scroll down to the image in the Perfect Customer section and see issue in screenshot below:

I have checked on my Windows laptop and it is an issue on Google Chrome but not Mozilla Firefox.

Recent changes:
I removed the existing image on that page and changed it to this new image.

Please can you look into this for me

Thanks,
Client

 

Bad example of a support Request Email

Hi Clare,

Website images are going behind the text. Please fix.

Client

 

New support requests/enquiries in separate email threads

Following up about an existing issue? Please respond to that email thread rather than including in a different email.

If you have a new support request please:

    • Create a new email with a different subject (helps avoid it being missed)
    • Include the date of the initial request in the subject line eg: Website issue list – 23/11/18.

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  • If you have 3 separate issues in an email with the subject “Website issue list – 23/11/18” and we are working on those, then you decide you want to make a change to the events page. Even if it is on the same day, please create a new support email thread with the subject “Website events page changes – 23/11/18”

If your website issue is urgent

Please add “URGENT: ” to the subject

This will ensure that when we’re busy (we often are) and we just skim our inbox we can easily see if there’s anything that needs urgent attention.

If you have an emergency issue (such as website down, or checkout not working)

An emergency is when the website is down, or bookings or purchases are not working during a sale. If this is the case, and you are an existing client you can send an email with the details and call us.

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Praise from our clients

Don't just take our word for it!

I started to write a more detailed thank you email to you for all your efforts, but I am terrible with words and it’s still sitting in my draft folder. You have been fantastic to work with and I really appreciate all the effort and hard work you and your team put into our website. After the launch we beat our previous monthly online sales record by a long way.

Rhiannon Glover Rowe Trading

Working with Static Shift has been a great experience, through the research & development phase they really took on our business as a whole and looked to understand not only our customers, our company and our business goals but also a thorough insight into the niche industry we work in. Karl’s genuine interest in the detail translated through to the design and development and now we are loving the results. After launching our new website with Static Shift last year our organic search traffic is up 58% and enquiries 77%. This has resulted in increased net profit of over 30% and really improved our user experience as well as company growth overall. Karl knows his stuff online, and from a business perspective not only do we have more sales enquiries but the quality of our enquiries has improved as well. We continue to work with Static Shift on our SEO program and are really grateful for the partnership. They are responsive and professional and the fact that they offer web design and development with a whole business approach, is such a bonus.

Emily & Justin O'Neill Bali Family Villas

Just want to thank you and your team sooo much again for all your hard work and support in building our online ticketing system. It’s so different for me not feeling stressed about ticketing issues this year and it’s so much easier for the customers to use, and us to manage, so you really have done an amazing job! Also for keeping up the communication, I really appreciate it!

Miriam Cuffe Abbey Medieval Festival

Redeveloping our responsive website has been a smooth, reliable and successful venture working with Karl at Static Shift. The communication from Karl and Karen was regular, detailed and clear. The resulting website exceeded all expectations. The website is running smoothly and much more efficiently than our previous design and is a lot easier on our server resources (which was a big problem with our level of traffic). Karl has a can do attitude, which means that all custom changes that we wanted were implemented to achieve the result we were looking for. We would definitely recommend using Static Shift.

Tanya Burgess Baby Hints & Tips - Australia-wide

I got everything that I expected and much much more! My subscriptions to the page have increased by 400%, my SEO is always increasing and the feedback that I receive from current clients and new clients is nothing but exceptional!

Adam Murphy Adam Murphy (Keynote Speaker) - Adelaide

The team got straight to work; their patience with our indecision about how we wanted the site to look was very appreciated. Karl often giving great advice on getting the best conversion rate possible. We are very grateful to have come across Static Shift, the team’s ongoing help and support has been amazing, they are always quick to respond with any concerns or queries. Thanks Karl and the team for your ongoing support, you really have been outstanding!

Petra Johnson Hooked On Bamboo - Queensland