Hello My Friends, and welcome to this week’s #SolutionsSaturday”. Taking off from last week’s “What makes a great Facebook group?” I wanted to go into more detail on how to get the most out of a group like this, especially for those who have important questions that need to get answered as quick and as best as possible. So to answer the question “Do The Best Questions Get The Best Answers?” The short answer is “Yes”, but let’s dig deep and find out why, so you can get your burning Excel question answered as fast an as accurately as possible. Based on the last 2 years of thousands of questions and answers in our group, there are a few clear & obvious qualities that make up a great question
- Pictures – As they say “A picture is worth a thousand words” and this is even truer when trying to get your questions answered as soon as possible. The fact is that most of us, browsing through Facebook, won’t read text within a post at first and it’s the picture that will get our attention. Your questions should always have pictures when possible and those pictures should clearly demonstrate the issue you are trying to solve. These images should be a clear screenshot of the issue and not taken from a phone onto your computer or laptop. (there are many free screen clipping applications available if you do not currently have one) When possible please also clearly highlight the issue within the picture so you are not forcing a user to view an entire picture in order to find the problem.
- Descriptions – While pictures are very important, so are descriptions of the exact problems. Too often I see very limited information given on questions that requires other members to ask more questions in order to determine what the real question is. When not enough information is provided many members may just skip answering the question entirely if it requires more back and forth comments to determine the actual problem or bug. Make sure you have a clear, concise, and accurate descriptions so members can give you quick and accurate answers
- Downloads – The ability for users to download workbook in order to assess the issue or bug is a great way to allow our members to see the exact problem you are dealing with. However, a download without an accurate description of the problem can be very frustrating, since members would be required to download and run your workbook without fully understand the problem. Many of us will not download workbooks unless we have a very clear understanding of the problem.
- Tagging Members– Unless there is a specific reasons or request by another member you should avoid tagging others in your posts and questions. Our member are donating their time when they can. Tagging them may unnecessarily bother or alert them when they don’t always have time to answer. Always try to avoid tagging others unless they have requested a specific file or have a personal interest in your specific question
- Patience – The last requirement to get your questions answered is patience. While our members are amazing and try to answer questions as fast as possible, we all have lives, jobs, work and other commitments and responsibility. Sometimes answers take hours or days, so your patience is greatly appreciated. If you have not received an answer in a fair amount of time, consider editing your post with some of the above options with better descriptions, pictures or downloads.
I hope you have enjoyed this Solutions Saturday and you get tons of value from this post and our Excel For Freelancers Group. (If you have to join, please feel free to join here: http://bit.ly/groupexcel ) If you have a question that you would like me to answer, just put it in the comments below and I will try and get to in in a Solutions Saturday.
Thanks so much,