When working online or offline in the real world, it’s inevitable that you will encounter issues and problems with products, services, and everything else. This quick post explains when, where, and how to ask for help: The Three Golden Rules. It’s a general guide, aimed at those who may be unfamiliar.
When to ask for help
When to ask for help: After you have given a solid attempt at resolving the issue yourself. It’s that simple. Why would you want to try to resolve an issue yourself? Three BIG reasons:
- Saves time — DIY usually is faster than relying on others
- Experience — solving problems boosts your critical thinking skills
- Solves the problem — if successful, you’ve solved the problem and can move on with your life
So keep that in mind and don’t be a lazy shlob. Take a few moments to think logically and try to figure things out for yourself. Even if you fail, you benefit from the experience of trying.
Where to ask for help
Where to ask for help: If you are unable to resolve the issue yourself, you need help. Here are the big three channels for help:
- Product source — ask the seller for help, usually it is free but takes time
- Friends and family — ask a knowledgeable friend or associate for help
- Paid support — hire a professional to fix the problem for you
There are other places, but those are the typical/best sources for getting help. Also if none of the above are possible, hit the search engines should be able to find a support forum, conversation board, or other helpful resource.
How to ask for help
How to ask for help: Last but not least, it is important to understand how to ask for help. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people literally have zero clues. So the big three things to do:
- Be polite — regardless of support mode, be polite and respectful
- Communicate clearly — speak or type as clearly as possible
- Be thorough — provide context plenty of details
Why do all of these things? Why not just shoot an email that says, “hey how do I fix this”? Because it is faster to communicate clearly and provide plenty of information. Plus you don’t come off sounding like a complete caveman.
Summary: Three Golden Rules
Alright let’s break this down in ultimately easy-to-grasp terms. Here are the Three Golden Rules for getting help when you have a problem with some product, service, or whatever:
- Try to resolve it yourself
- If not possible, ask the provider, friends, or hire someone
- When asking for help, be polite, clear, and provide plenty of information
Following those three simple rules will help you get results as quickly, effectively, and awesomely as possible :)