Troubleshooting General

When troubleshooting Outlook.com issues it is imperative to properly understand the issue, to use the available information to diagnose, and finally to deliver a tactical solution to the customer. Here is some guidance when receiving questions for Outlook.com:

  1. Check the information available in the 'Extra Information' tab on the Limitless app, as it may contain details that is relevant to the issue. If the customer’s language is clear you may be able to identify the issue immediately – before even responding to the customer.
  2. If the customer’s query is vague and does not provide enough information, formulate some questions you can ask to try to identify the issue the customer is experiencing. The customer could be tech-savvy, but equally, could not know anything about technology – try to gauge the customer level through your interaction. This will help you determine whether to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions or more consolidated steps.
  3. Determine if the issue the customer is reporting is something you have seen before. Is it a known issue? Is it a bug? Can you reproduce the issue? This will help you determine what the response to the customer should be.

Remember to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you had contacted Microsoft support, you would expect your issue to be resolved quickly and efficiently, with minimal interaction with the support agent. You want to avoid asking questions back and forth – be tactical, by asking questions that help you resolve the issue and consolidate them in as few responses possible. Keeping this in mind will help you provide excellent support to our customers.

Bugs & One-off issues

How to identify a bug vs one-off issue

You will encounter issues in Outlook.com that are related to bugs that impact multiple customers and that can’t be resolved by you. Some issues will only impact one customer. Here is some guidance that will allow you to determine if it is a bug or a one-off issue.

Bug:

  • The 1st indicator would be a spike in volume related to this issue.
  • You can often reproduce it in the same conditions (eg. same browser, account in same forest/server, same settings etc.)
  • Service bugs can sometimes be reproduced readily across multiple accounts and multiple devices.
  • You may see it posted as a known issues on the recent issues page : Fixes-or-workarounds-for-recent-issues-in-Outlook-for-Windows
  • Issues identified as bugs can usually only be solved by Engineering. This is not to say there isn’t a workaround that will alleviate the customer’s problem. In a scenario where there is a possible workaround, the best thing to do is to deliver the workaround, but clearly emphasize to the customer that it is only a workaround, not a permanent solution.Remember to use the appropriate reason code in the app, to indicate this is a bug or issue. This would help the Outlook team identify the volume of enquiries related to a bug, and prioritise engineering work accordingly.

One-off Issues:

  • These issues will impact the customer either on a specific account or specific environment.
  • They can generally be fixed by setting changes with the customer or changing environmental factors (eg. aggressive anti-virus, browser add-ons, incompatible mail client etc.)
  • You cannot reproduce the issue.
  • The issue is not by-design, and is not a known issue.

When you can’t fix the issue:

You will encounter cases where you and the customer cannot resolve the issue and the issue is not by-design. In these cases use the following guidance to resolve the case:

  • Is it a bug? Escalate the issue after providing workarounds (if applicable) to the customer and collecting required logs.
  • If you cannot determine the root cause due to the complexity of the issue, escalate it. Append any applicable information in the case notes, so the escalation agent can continue troubleshooting instead of starting from scratch.

Performance issues/delays

Customers can raise concerns or complaints relating to (slow) performance issues. Ask customers to try other browsers to see if performance issues occur in general or if the problem is isolated to a single browser. Gather steps that demonstrate performance issue. See if you can recreate the problem. Outlook.com also refers to this self-help article for recent bug fixes and workarounds. Make sure you refer customers to this link.

Fixing email sync issues

You will also be able to help customers on solving sync errors between Outlook.com and email clients/apps. More information can be found on the self-help pages on Outlook.com

What now?

You've completed Module 6 and you can now attempt your Outlook Quiz. Good luck. Scroll down your learning homepage to find the link to the Outlook.com quiz