Help … on a Global Stage

I’ve had reason in the last couple of weeks to tap into a resource that is slowly becoming my go to place for help.

Years ago, in the days of dialup internet, the most used part of early internet was bulletin boards. As text was just about the only thing that would make the journey down the 56Kbs connection, graphics was a thing yet to have its place. Try explaining that one to the kids of today.

Anyway, the bulletin boards were an amazing way of sharing knowledge, albeit only used by the few who knew how to access them.

The modern-day version of this looks something like Facebook Groups. My wife has an electric car, and this comes with a few quirks. Range anxiety for one, and where or how to charge is another. We joined two Facebook groups, one for electric cars in general, and the other specifically for the actual model of car. Any questions we had have been answered pretty swiftly on the user group. Smart manufacturers have also encouraged their own employees to join these groups which, for the consumer, is brilliant; how else would you be able to ask the experts a direct question? And, what a brilliant way to get feedback, direct from end users of the product.

So, I’m sat on my sofa around 20:30 trying to solve a problem with the line of business software we use in the office for our tickets. I had figured out about 75% of what I needed, but try as I might, I just couldn’t figure out the last bit. I almost resigned to calling the manufacturer in the morning; but I hate giving in so as a final thought, I posted a question in the user group for the software on Facebook. Literally within two minutes, a very nice gentleman from California answered my plea for help with not one, but two answers, along with some instructions of next steps. I expressed my gratitude, applied my fix, and closed my laptop satisfied that my issue had been resolved.

The car is an MG, and even with its quirks, we love it. The software we use is a product called Autotask, and is used globally by many IT service providers.

The future is being able to tap into knowledge regardless of language or location and, used well, is powerful stuff. And … Facebook for business… who’d have thought??

Next time something is taxing you, check to see if there is a Facebook group available – you might be surprised at how much knowledge there is available.