Lately, I’ve been thinking about an interesting phenomenon. Specifically, asking questions with seemingly obvious answers can help resolve issues. At the same time, it is vital to ask those questions in more empathetic ways.
At a previous workplace, I was contacted by an employee at a satellite location. This employee was trying to set up her own workstation. Unfortunately, the workstation was completely bricked, and wouldn’t turn on, not even providing a light or beep. The caller suspected it was dead and would have to be replaced.
She might have felt patronized if I had asked a question like, “Is it plugged in?” What I asked instead was, “Could you please double-check that the power cable is connected properly at the back of this computer and in a wall outlet? Just in case it was knocked out or to see if there’s a problem with your power strip.”
The caller said, “Hold on a sec.” Somewhat muffled, I could hear her shouting to another colleague at the site, “Did this thing come with a power cable?!”
A few moments of rustling and crashing later, the caller came back on the line, let me know the computer was now powering on successfully, and thanked me for my assistance.
I have similar stories about questions like “When was it last working correctly?”, “Are you able to connect to any other websites right now?”, and “Have you tried letting the device recharge for more than half an hour, and then trying to power it on?”
Asking simple questions may seem like common sense, but most of us don’t keep track of every single detail in life. This is one of the reasons we all sometimes need a helping hand or outsider’s perspective. Sometimes it’s enough for someone just to point out what we missed. And, simple, obvious questions can help achieve that…as long as they are not framed in a derogatory tone. Simplicity is a fantastic tool in technical support, especially with a dollop of empathy.
If you would like help with the computing or technical challenges in your life, please feel free to reach out to Deep Core Data today.