How to resolve issues faster – key information we’ll need to fast-track the solution

30 Oct 2023, by Slade Baylis

It’s an unfortunate reality that all things break as they age - entropy is a law of the universe, with all things becoming more disordered over time.  In some ways this is even true in the ephemeral world of  IT,  which is why IT professionals actively take measures to make sure that software is patched and updated, as well as to ensure that hardware is maintained and replaced as needed.

In a similar way, it’s likely that people will experience some form of  IT issue at some points that will require assistance to be seeked.  Whether it’s an issue with their email client not connecting to their email hosting server, a website breaking due to a misapplied update, or a server having issues due to a previously undiscovered bug - these kinds of issues can and do occur.  And when one finds themselves in this kind of stressful situation, the solution process should always aim to reduce the stress - rather than add to it - by having the issue resolved quickly!

That’s why we thought we’d put together this article, which will go over the steps you can take and the information you can provide to help resolve these types of issues quickly and with as little pain as possible!

Which services are affected? Letting us know what systems you have, what’s impacted, and how they’re set up  

This first point is usually obvious and included in all requests for support that of: “Which service is affected by the issue?”.   Being as detailed as possible about which services are or are not being affected, can significantly help to speed up the diagnosis of a problem.

For example, if the issue is with an email account, is it one email account that’s having the issue or is it multiple email accounts?  Is it incoming email, outgoing email, or is it both?  Is the problem only happening within your email client, such as Outlook, or also happening through your browser when using webmail or OWA (Outlook Web Access)?  Each of these points of information helps us to narrow the range of issues that could be occurring, and thus helps with the diagnosis of the underlying issue.

Here are some questions that are useful to answer when describing which services are affected:

  • What platform are the services hosted on?
  • Are all of the services affected or just a smaller sub-set of them? 
  • Of the services that are affected, are they critical infrastructure or something less vital for day-to-day operations (such as a testing or development environment)?
  • Is there anything we’ll need to know about how the environment is configured?
  • Is there anything unusual, out of the ordinary, or custom with the configuration?

Each of these questions helps us understand how the environment hangs together, as well as allows us to know what potential issues could be occurring.  Without a full understanding of how the systems are configured, it may be difficult to know what the actual cause could be! 

In addition, knowing how critical the affected systems are to operation can help us know its severity, assign priorities, as well as know how time sensitive the issue is. 

What is the issue? Providing us with a detailed description of the problem

Once we know which systems are being affected, the next most important thing to know is what the details of the issue are – much like when diagnosing a disease, knowing what symptoms are occurring is required in order to diagnose the underlying problem. 

Here are some questions that are useful to answer when describing the issue that’s occurring:

  • What is happening that shouldn’t be, or not happening that should be?
  • When did the issue start occurring?
  • Were any changes made around the time the issue started? If so, what were those changes?
  • Has the issue ever occurred before? If so, what was the cause previously?

Of these questions, the second and third are particularly important - knowing when the issue started happening and if anything changed at that time can sometimes be enough to resolve or at least identify most issues. 

Contact information – Having information ready and making sure you're authorised

When providing us this information, it is helpful to include your customer number and any related ticket numbers.  This is especially important when calling in – as this information will allow us to quickly bring up the account and the context regarding the issue.

In addition, the person contacting us must be an authorised contact on the account, or must have been given express permission from someone who is authorised. This is a requirement in order to proceed - as we can only discuss customer services with contacts that have been previously authorised.

Here is a list of things that is useful for you to have ready, prior to reaching out to us:

  • Customer number
  • The ticket number for any related tickets
  • Your contact information for verification and communication purposes

Communication method – How the method of contact can impact resolution time

Another thing that can affect resolution time, is the method that’s used to let us know about any issues.  Whilst it may seem faster to call, this method can sometimes actually end up being the slower way of getting the issue looked at and resolved.  

For example, reaching out via email can be much better method than a phone call in cases where there is a history of related issues that our agents will need to know about.  It can also be helpful in cases where information about the issue has already been provided to other agents, in case that agent is no longer available – as otherwise information may need to be restated or resent through multiple times.

However, in terms of raising issues in those situations where they have a high severity level, are affecting critical systems, or otherwise dramatically impacting your business operations - then in these cases, the fastest path to lodge these issues is to give our Support team a call.  

For requesting ongoing updates though, it's important to know that calling in via phone may actually be counter-productive.  Once a request has been received by a Support team member, they will raise a job ticket for it and then set to work on it in terms of investigating and resolving the issue.  If phone calls are received in the middle of that investigation and resolution process, they can unfortunately act to delay and hinder those efforts - due to this, it’s usually best just to send a simple follow-up email when looking for updates on previously reported issues. 

Support plans – How support coverage affects SLAs and response times

We can’t have a comprehensive discussion about response times and support without mentioning SLAs - as these have a direct impact on the priority assigned to reported issues, and both response and resolution times. 

For customers that have Customer Care plans - which are our managed services / advanced support plans - we are able to offer stricter Service Level Agreements (SLAs) along with our standard 100% uptime guarantee on infrastructure.  For those not familiar, an SLA is an agreement between a provider and their customer to guarantee target service levels, such as target response and resolution times for different issues according to their priority and severity.

We’re able to provide more information on this upon request - so recommend reaching out to us if you're interested in this – however a high-level overview can be found on our website here.  In addition, for those interested, you can refer to our Deep Dive – What are Customer Care plans? article for more information on these customer care plans and the differences between them.

Helping us help you – To help fix the issue ahead of time, provide all the information that we'll need, upfront

Providing us with all these details upfront, usually means we’ll now have enough information to be able to immediately set out and work on investigating the issue and resolving it.  Not only will this end up saving time for our customers overall in its resolution, but it will also help reduce the number of interruptions, delays and headaches that will result from having to email back and forth in order to attain that information anyway! 

One other useful free resource that’s worth mentioning and is available on our website page is our Knowledgebase.  This guide details common issues encountered and the step-by-step instructions on how to resolve them.  We're continuously updating and adding to it – so sometimes the quickest path may actually be to check this out first and see if your issue is a common one that can be resolved by following the self-help guide relevant for that issue.  

Have any questions about anything we’ve covered?

If you have questions about the information in this article or have any issues you need help resolving, feel free to reach out to us!  

For any questions about this article, feel free to contact us via either method! You can email us at or call us on 1300 769 972 (Option #1)! 

See it for yourself.

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