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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Does this help?"

I don't do help desk support anymore per se, but because I'm a trusted resource on how to make things work, I sometimes get emailed queries from folks avoiding the Help Desk route. Usually, it's nice and sometimes really rewarding to answer these queries. It's often for a weird tidbit that I do actually know and that the Help Desk Level One staff likely wouldn't know.

But the best thing I ever do on these items is to sign them, "Does this help?" and my name, rather than any other closing salutation. The responses I get back from that little detail are so much better than almost any other correspondence. If I nailed it, I get back an enthusiastic, "Yes it does!" rather than never hearing from them again. If I'm not on target, I usually get more information back to help clarify rather than an exasperated, "Well she apparently doesn't know jack." It's kind of impressive what a tiny difference in approach makes. Three little words that totally change the conversation. It's a good reminder of how little it takes to have a better interaction time and again.

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