I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that customers, colleagues or friends have been stuck on something and don’t know what to do, so they’ve called and asked me.
Do you know what I do if I don’t know? I google it. Sounds obvious, I know. But many times, the obvious is un-obvious.
Yesterday, I had a customer ask me what to do because they got an error message when trying to open a document on their computer. I googled the error message, and told her the answer. Yes, you can copy, paste and search on a specific error message.
I’ve had a customer ask me industry-related questions. I googled the question and looked for the answer.
I’ve had a customer ask me which software program works better. I asked google for a comparison, and got the answer.
The information is there if you want to find it. But, you do have to discern between real and make-believe. For one, I don’t look at the first few search results because they are ads disguised as results. I scroll down and then look for valid sources, keeping in mind that everyone is a blogger with an opinion these days.
A few examples of good question and answering websites (based on my google search just now … and experience) include:
I just want to remind you that not everything is a crisis when you don’t have the answer at hand. Perform a quick search before you panic; you may just be pleasantly surprised at how easy the solution is. 99% of the time I respond to those seeking answers with the statement that I just googled it, they always say, “I don’t know why I didn’t do that. Duh!” There’s a wealth of knowledge out there at your fingertips, just be sure to follow valid sources of information.