Technical Support?

May 5, 2010 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Automatic Printer

Every day our product, print application, and sales managers field technical, how-to, or product questions.   At times the questions are fairly straight forward, but sometimes they are more involved.  However, whatever the question, there is a list of basic information that our managers need in order to best respond to the questions in a timely and more accurate manner.  Here is John Hatcher, our Product Manager, with more on this topic:

“I have been answering Tech Support calls for many years and wanted to offer some suggestions to those that might need to contact Tech Support to help make the process as smooth and as easy as possible for both the caller and the Tech Support person. 

Remember that the caller needs to give the Tech Support person as much detail as possible about the issue so the Tech Support person can try to provide the best suggestions to help resolve any issues or questions.

Here is a list of the required information:

1.  The product being used (both the product number and the lot number).

An example for an International Coatings’ product could be 716 Black, lot number 906112.  The lot number is usually a 6 or 7 digit number and it tells Tech Support when the ink was made and they can also double check the lot number to make sure that the lot number is properly identifying the ink or product in question.  The primary reason the lot number is very important is that International Coatings keeps a small retain of each batch of ink that was made (for one year from date of manufacture) and that retain can be checked if needed for current viscosity,  printability and other possible tests without needing to get a sample from the customer.

2.  Describe the problem or issue:

  • What the problem is as best as can be explained verbally.
  • Please be prepared to describe how the product is being used.  Tech Support would need to know the following:
  • What type of fabric is being printed (as example 100% cotton, 50/50 cotton polyester, nylon 100% polyester or other)?
  • What screen mesh was used?
  • What type of squeegee (the durometer and edge)?
  • Was the product flash or spot cured?
  • What is or was the temperature setting of the dryer and how long was the product in the dryer (retention time under the heat).   Also, Tech Support will probably want to know if it is an electric or gas dryer.

If necessary, Tech Support may request a sample print and/or fabric swatches to conduct a visual examination and possibly test print the exact fabric.

3.  It is very important to remain calm and be patient. 

I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but Tech Support is there to try and help you and the more detailed information that is provided, the better.  It is very hard for Tech Support to try and resolve a print or application issue when they are not actually looking at the problem or issue. 

Please listen to what Tech Support has to say before asking more questions.  Sometimes Tech Support needs to clarify something that the caller has mentioned before continuing the process.  Tech Support is a two-way process and the more prepared the caller is with the necessary information the easier it will be to help resolve any issues.  Always ask yourself, if I were trying to resolve or help with this issue over the telephone, what information would I need?  That is what the Tech Support person also will need. “

To learn more about International Coatings and our products, go to


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