The vast majority of tickets opened with support have to do with a problem .Typically when there’s a problem there’s a symptom and often an associated error message. A percentage of the problems we solve, you could’ve solved yourself if only you read the error logs. An additional percentage are solved by merely googling the error message. The same holds true for questions (googling often results in a technote that can help you resolve this on your own). Must like you don’t want us pointing you to documentation or technotes, we don’t like pointing you to documentation and technotes that really do answer the question.

Regardless of the problem you’re facing, the first thing we’re going to ask is that you zip (compress) the log files from the system (and/or node) on the day and time of the issue . No, we don’t want a screen shot or a snippet – we really do want the entire log file(s). We don’t want the log files from last year or all the sub-directories within the log directory.  We don’t want them converted into *.pdf form or cut/pasted in to a word document (surprise – some of us don’t have licenses for Microsoft Word). We want what we asked for – or what the “must gather” technote we’ve referenced outlines (more on “must gather” in a later blog post). When we ask you to ZIP then upload the log files we mean just that. We don’t want you uploading them one-at-a-time, why? Our tool generates an alert for each and every update you make. If you upload 10 files individually – we get ten separate notifications the we have to dismiss. If everyone does this, then multiple the number of individual files by the number of tickets and clearly the problem can grow out of control.

Then imagine downloading the log files, reviewing them only to discover they’re not from the day or time of the issue. If you don’t have time to gather the log files needed to troubleshoot the issue, consider waiting to open the ticket until you’re able to provide this when you open the ticket.

Better still – are the customers call over and over and over all day long. If you’ve uploaded the requested information to the support ticket, the tool alerts me to the update. I do not need a call from you to make sure I got the files. Secondly, I do not need a series of hang-up calls interrupting my concentration while I’m attempting analysis of the data. If I sense you’re one of those anxious phone calling types – I tell you: I will call you when I have an update but if you become a pest, I probably just want to avoid you altogether and email you back an update or request for more data.

Keep in mind you are NEVER my only ticket. Typically I’m juggling over 20 other issues in addition to yours. I’m working the issues in a logical fashion based on severity, priority and available data with which to trouble shoot. Very possibly I’m on a call with another customer, a team meeting, a severity 1 system down or quite possibly taking a mental health break.

On a really good day, we get a ticket opened with the right team because of the descriptive title, that contains a decent problem description that outlines the issue you want us to solve along with log files from the day and time of the incident.I can hit the ground running and my first contact with you will move the matter forward!