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How to ask for help

Do you ever need help with your website or emails but don’t know how to go about it? The chances are that your website support folks really want to help you get resolve your issue, but a message that says not much more than “my email isn’t working” or “I can’t use this feature” doesn’t give us an awful lot to go on. So, here are some tips to help us help you 🙂

1. Give as much detail as you can

Please understand that without any specifics, your website support will find it very difficult to know what to advise. So, give as much detail as you possibly can – explain exactly what the problem is and the exact wording of any messages that pop up. How far have you got in what you’re doing before experiencing an issue, and exactly what happens?

Rather than:

my email isn’t working


when I try sending an email I get a message pop up saying xxxxxx


I’m setting up my email on my new phone but when it gets to this bit [give details] I’m not sure which option to select

2. Give a step-by-step description

If you’re not sure how to describe the problem think about giving a step-by-step description. Even if it seems really obvious, go through exactly what you’ve tried. For example:

  1. I went to my WordPress login screen
  2. I entered my username and password and clicked login
  3. It showed a message saying “Error your password is incorrect”

A-ha, you’re entering the password incorrectly, now we know to give you a reminder of your login details!

3. Screenshots

A brilliant way to show us the problem is to take a screenshot – of any error messages you’re seeing, of the settings you’re using, of the section you’re trying to edit. This will give us a glimpse of what you’re seeing and can really help us get to the bottom of it.

4. Tell us what device/software you’re using

It it also really helpful if you tell us exactly what you’re using. So that will be the software and the type of computer or device. For example:

Email Problems

  • Mail software on a Mac computer
  • Email app on an Android phone
  • Outlook on a Windows laptop
  • Roundcube webmail using Chrome on a Windows computer

Website Problems

  • Chrome browser on a Windows computer
  • Safari browser on a Mac
  • Firefox on a Windows laptop

5. Be patient

And finally, we know how frustrating it is when you can’t get something to work. But please be patient with the person who is trying to help you. The chances are that they won’t have an instant answer and will have to ask you for further information. Or it might be a step-by-step process, so please follow the suggested steps and report back so we can move you on to the next step. And if something works please let us know! We’ll be happy that your problem has been resolved and it will help us give even better support the next time.

I know how frustrating it is when what you’re doing just isn’t working. And you want to be able to reach out and get an instant answer. But please remember that to be able to help you to the best of our ability we need to know what you’re trying, what your software/device is, and exactly what the issue is to be able to suggest a solution.

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