Need IT Solutions But Don’t Have a Help Desk? Google Has The Answers!
Posted on August 30, 2017 by Samantha Gomez
Most solo business owners struggle with IT problems. When you work by yourself it can be very difficult to work out how to use software properly, and how to get help when your software or hardware isn’t working properly. This is especially frustrating for business owners who have come from a corporate world and are used to calling the IT help desk and handing over the problem.
So, what can you do when you are working on your own and you have no idea how to solve your IT issue? The three things I always recommend to my clients are Google, YouTube and Live Chat, and these generally result in positive outcomes.
Google is a solution centre for almost all IT problems but you need to be specific in what you ask. Although most software has a help menu, in my experience typing my IT question or problem into Google provides a more streamlined and specific answer.
The key is to type in exactly the question you would ask an IT help desk, for example “How do I merge contacts in XX database?” or “How do I to delete a column in a table in word?”
Google can even help if you are having hardware issues. Just get out your phone or iPad and start Googling specific questions, like “How do I restore my computer from the white screen of death?” The more specific you can be about your problem, the more likely you are to find the exact solution you need.
Once you have Googled your problem one of the websites that is likely to come up is the actual website of the software or hardware your question is about. I would suggest trying that website first. The help desk areas generally have a Frequently Asked Questions section, where people have asked similar questions to you and experts have provided the answers. Mostly the answers provided are step-by-step solutions to your problem.
However, don’t discount the many IT solution-based chat forums because they can provide a wealth of information too.
Whether you end up on a provider’s site or in a chat forum, make sure the answers you find are current and relevant to the software version you are using. There is no point using answers from the 2010 version if the software has changed since then, although if no changes have occurred some of the advice may be timeless.
When you Google your question you are likely to find that some of the highest rating answer options are YouTube videos that people have made to show you how to solve your issue. In many cases watching a YouTube video on how to solve your problem can be the fastest way to find your solution.
The videos are generally step-by-step screen shots that someone has videoed to show others how to deal with the issue, and they are a great solution for visual people who struggle with the technical aspects of being your own IT help desk.
Most software and hardware providers have help areas, which include their own chat forum. Generally it is easiest to access these via Google but you can also go straight to the provider’s website. Once you get to the site, many will have a live chat area – don’t be scared of these – which is your direct line to the provider’s IT help desk.
You start the chat and a representative will come online and ask what they can do to help you. All you then need to do is type your question into the box and they will attempt to solve your question in real time, exactly as if they were standing next to your desk. They will show you where to click and how to fix your issue, and there help will be specifically tailored to your problem. Perfect.
If you utilise the three helps options above I think you will be surprised at how easy it can be to sort out your own IT issues. I am often asked software questions that I don’t immediately know the answer to. In every instance I Google the question and spend some time reading through the online forums and help areas until I have a solution I am happy with. Then I test the solution out. Ninety-nine percent of the time the solutions work and voila people think I am a technology guru. The thing is the information isn’t specifically there for me. It is for everyone so make the most of it!
The golden rule when looking for IT answers online is to be as specific as possible when Googling your problem. You will save yourself a heap of time and energy if you type in “How to insert a column into a table in word” instead of “how to use tables in word”.