How do you ask for help? [Guest Blog]

Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week I write outside of my point of sale features comfort zone.   I am replacing the typical:  ”How-to run a report, ring up a sale, or scan a bar code” with the following question:

How do you ask for help?

Specifically, how do you ask for help online?  Are your words impeding the solution?

Online software has changed the way we are able to deliver our products and services.   Applications make it easier for us to communicate with anyone, anytime anywhere.  It also changes where and who we turn to for help.  Most solutions have an online channel for us to resolve our issues.

Global in nature, when we ask for help, how do we do it?   In the absence of physical presence, we rely on our words and other mediums to convey what our needs are in an effort to find relief.

Recently, the Vend Team gave me the opportunity to contribute in the user forums.  Offering help online certainly changes the traditional approach to interpreting, understanding and answering questions.   In reviewing the interactions, I observe the users that are most successful in achieving resolution.   Their questions share the following characteristics:

  • Goal – Statement of what one would like to accomplish
  • Possible solutions – Attempted measures taken to rectify
  • Description of business, environment or applicable hardware
  • Screen shots, data excerpts or other support
  • Genuine – A sincere attitude of wanting to better the situation or the product

I am not proposing we write a book with each question.  I have seen the above accomplished well in one or two sentences.

I have been fortunate to surround myself with some brilliant minds over the past several months, present company included.   My friends at Deep Sky Co shared this video last month.  I submit to you to ask a question, watch the video, and ask the question a second time.   Does it change your words?

This is a guest blog post by Vend partner Kara R. Haas, CPA, P.A.

About Nick Houldsworth

Husband. Father of three. Beard grower. Mandolin player. Tuesday drinker. Love helping retailers the world over grow great businesses.

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