How to write a support request that won’t get ignored

I know. It's hard to imagine that anyone would willfully ignore your support ticket—whether you're asking for help for a premium plugin, a commercial theme, hosting, or even a free plugin on the WordPress repo.

But not all support requests are equal and you should strive to make your request the best one (and easiest one) to reply to.

Three ways to get your support ticket trashed

Let's start with the simple stuff…

  1. Don't write a request for help that says nothing. I know you're frustrated but, “This thing doesn't work,” is not sufficient information to get the help you want.
  2. Don't write an insulting request for help. It really shouldn't have to be said. But I'll say it. The world doesn't revolve around you. Or me. So if you're thinking that a strong worded email that kicks someone in the chin is going to motivate them, or that it will make someone feel so sorry about their product's issues that they'll start working on  your stuff right away, it won't.
  3. Don't start with how much you paid. It's silly but when you're making a request for help, telling the support person what you've spent is almost like pushing a magic button that says, “please send me a refund rather than fixing my issue,” and that may not be what you want.

Three ways to get your support ticket embraced

If you want to know how to write a support request that won't get ignored, but instead will be embraced, here are three things you can do that will really help you.

  1. Be clear about your overall objective. Sometimes it's easy to get into the details without ever explaining what you're actually trying to do. So start with that. It helps people understand what you're trying to do. They might be able to show you a different route, or cut to the chase and let you know it's not supported.
  2. Be specific about what you've already tried. The last things you want is that they tell you to try something you've already done, or for support to not recognize your skill level quickly. So by telling them what you've done, you'll eliminate wasted words going back and forth, and you'll highlight exactly how well you know what you're doing (either not at all or expert mode) and it will shape how they respond.
  3. Take extra time to explain your detailed context. It's silly, but it's easy to submit a ticket without telling support enough of what they need to know.

Related to #3 above, here's what I recommend you include:

  • What host you're using
  • What plan on that host you're using
  • What the url of your site is (domain)
  • What plugins are active
  • What theme you're using
  • What settings you have configured
  • Screenshots of any error messages

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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