Don’t Forget the Basics

February 25, 2009

The Basics

I had a tech support issue that made me think of this – more on that shortly.

Lets imagine something!

In the developed world, we are all familiar with the automobile. Even if you do not have a driving licence, you know what a car is, and some of its basics. 

So when we teach a new driver, we impart knowledge of the rules of the road, and the physical skills necessary to move 2 tons of glass and steel safely down that road.

But if we imagine that we were parachuted into a country where the only vehicles ever seen are UN relief convoys and military vehicles?

Can we still teach someone to drive using our familiar methods?

Maybe someone who does not even know that you have to unlock the door to get into the car?

Perhaps they have never seen any key – let alone an ignition key?

I think not.

You have to back up, and go back to the basics.

My Support Issue

A business that we purchase a hosted online service from did a significant upgrade, or rewrite, of the web based administrative tool used to manage the service.

With the new interface I could not find the procedure to do a particular administrative task.

So I sent an email to their support.

The response?

It was 1 line with 2 three letter acronyms and an obtuse phrase. My reponse was basically ‘what the hell does that mean?

It turned out that the 3 letter acronyms were the first three letters of the particular web pages I had to use.

The SMB takeaway?

This is not just a tech issue, perhaps your sales staff considers parts A, B,& C of your offering so obvious that it does not get mentioned.

But it may not be that obvious to your customer.

Communication does not happen until the receiving party understands what you are saying.

I think that if you took a hard look at what you are saying, you may find that forgetting something basic leaves room for error and mis-understanding.

Have you ever come across one?

Photocredit mtlin

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