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Writing a terrific ticket
lauren lentini

Here in Support, we love your tickets! (Seriously!) Especially when you let your shining personality shine through. If you’ve ever wondered how to write up a ticket that really makes us smile, this is the blog for you! Read on for tips about how to make your friendly neighborhood Support agent even happier.

Give us a head start with details

We in the Support department pride ourselves on being detectives, and one of the first places we look for clues is in what you write to us. For that reason, more detail is better! We don’t need a novel, but you can be a good reporter by answering the who, what, where, when, and why as applicable. Was there a specific user reporting the issue? Who was it? What exactly happened? Which page were they on, or which browser were they using? When did they first notice the issue? Why is this an issue? The fewer questions we have to come back and ask you, the faster we can move on to finding a solution.

Point us in the right direction

For Support to be able to help you, we need to be on the same page as you, literally. Keep in mind that you look at your own site all day, while we look at dozens of sites every day. You might know where that sub-page is buried five levels deep underneath “About Us,” but we have no idea! Give us a link, to the front end and/or the admin side, or even draw us a road map of how to navigate to it. If you’re a Page Manager site, remember that there are no links to specific pages on the admin side. Make sure to send us a front-end link with “p=” as part of the URL.

Snap a screenshot

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that can certainly be true of screenshots. Whether it’s the text of an error message or a visual of a page that isn’t loading quite right, screenshots are a helpful way for us to see what you’re looking at, especially if we can’t immediately replicate it ourselves. Include the address bar in your shot so we can see exactly which page you’re on. There are several handy screenshot programs that can help you take screenshots and easily upload them to the web to share. Two of Support’s favorites are Droplr and Jing.

What’s urgent, really?

When you’re filling out the ticket form, you have the option to choose a priority level of “Urgent.” Choosing this level will get the Support team’s attention at any time of the day or night, and you’ll get a response within 15 minutes. Sounds like a great deal, right? Well, keep in mind that all our clients get the same arrangement, and it won’t be possible to fulfill our end of the deal if everyone abuses the privilege. To make sure that your critical issues get the prompt attention they deserve, and so do everyone else’s, think twice before playing the Urgent card. Is your website down? Do you have a major error on your home page? Are your forms acting up in the middle of your big giving drive? By all means, hit the buzzer! If your problem could wait a little bit longer, though, keep in mind that our team will still try to get back to you in a timely manner within normal business hours. We take the “High” priority level seriously, too--but no one gets text messages in the middle of the night.

Scope out the status page

In the eventuality that your site goes down, sometimes submitting a ticket (even an urgent one) is not the fastest way to get information about what’s going on. There’s also the Finalsite Status Page. If the outage is affecting more than just your site, members of the Support team will post updates to the Status Page every 30 minutes to provide updates about the situation and share what we know about the cause and the progress toward a resolution. You can even subscribe by email to get those updates directly in your inbox.

You can enable access to the Status Page for yourself or others by going to the Admin Users page and clicking on the arrow menu next to the admin’s row. Click the “Enable Status Page Access” link to get an automated email with instructions for how to set up your account. Of course, this only works before your site is down! If you’re in the middle of an outage and you want to see Status Page updates, contact Support and we can enable access for you.

Keep 'em separated

One of the benefits of working with our distributed Support team is that we have experts in all areas of the software and we immediately route your ticket to the team member who can best assist you. That also means that our expert in Forms Manager may not be (and is probably not) the best person to help you with a design issue. To maximize the timeliness of our responses to your tickets, make a second ticket if you have an additional question about a totally different part of your website. There’s no penalty for the number of tickets you create, and this way both your issues can be seen by the best person right away.

Note that, in some cases, Support will create a new ticket for you if a multi-issue ticket is best tackled separately. Otherwise, team members will be working together to answer each part of your ticket, and you might have to wait longer for a full response.

Condense datasheets

The exception to the “separate tickets” rule is datasheets. If you’re submitting multiple datasheets for End of Year or any other upload, it’s a good idea to keep them together in the same ticket. Even if they’re so large you can only attach one sheet at a time, reply to the original ticket with the additional datasheets instead of creating a new one. This makes it easier for our data uploads team to keep track. Have a bunch of sheets? Consider linking to a Google File Folder!

As we head towards back to school, we are looking forward to helping many of you get off to a great start this Autumn!

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