When it comes to bring successful help to users about any issue on a software or website, listening attentively, trying to be in her/his shoes and providing clear and simple feedback are the basics.
How to do this in a concrete way? Here are some tips:
- Take time to read carefully and to understand the user request
- Try to reproduce the user issue as accurately as possible: experimenting strictly the same issue is the best way “to empathize” with her/him
- If you cannot reproduce the issue, start by asking more details to the user, it is a good option for two reasons:
- pending the user’s reply, it gives you some time to think about the problem
- it often happens that user, by looking deeper into his issue, finally finds a solution by himself…
When you find solution, take time to explain in a clear way what user needs to know:
- the causes of the issue
- how to avoid or to solve by himself similar issues in the future
Moreover, another way to deal quicker with an issue is to involve the user by interacting with him: as soon as you get a clue or a potential solution, you can submit to him and propose that s/he test by her/himself. So, you spare time and user could get satisfaction to solve by himself.
Final word: at any step of the process, keep your communication simple and friendly. Users often need more carefulness than a pragmatic solution!