Insert Company Name Here Isn’t Working

July 10, 2012

What if you walked into your favorite hardware store and said “My Black & Decker doesn’t work”. Or maybe you call an appliance repairman and say “My General Electric doesn’t work”. Have you really told them anything at all about what isn’t working? In both cases you have given the name of a company that makes a wide array of products.

I bet you got a chuckle out of those ridiculous statements. I bet you said nobody would ever say something like that. Yet it happens many times a day when it comes to software. Users are constantly saying “Corel doesn’t work”. Really, is it a holiday in Canada and the company has a day off? More likely it is a product that Corel makes that is causing you problems. If you want help, provide the exact name of the product and not just the company name! It really isn’t too much to ask.

Back to our original example of Black and Decker. Suppose the tool that wasn’t working was a drill. Aha, now we know a little bit more. Is it battery-powered or electric? If electric, did you plug it in? Is it powerful enough for the material you are drilling? Do you have the right bit inserted? I could go on and on with questions.

When you say “Corel doesn’t work” or “Adobe doesn’t work”, the next question someone has to ask is the name of the product. So now you say CorelDRAW. Now they have to ask which version of CorelDRAW. You may say X4. Great, we’re making progress. Now you will be asked if the service packs are installed. After that is answered, you’ll need to describe what you are doing and the results you get from CorelDRAW. If this is a back and forth on the phone, it may take a few extra minutes. Should the exchange take place via e-mail or an online discussion, it could take more than a day before enough information is collected to even try to answer your question.

The next time you need assistance, please provide more details! This saves you a lot of time and it also saves the time of the person you are asking for help. I’ve written previous blogs titled It Doesn’t Work, It Still Doesn’t Work and Good Support Requires More Information Than “It Doesn’t Work” that all describe the process of providing more details.

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