Tips for providing great answers





We love having you as part of our forum community, and we hope you’re enjoying the experience. By posting in our forum, you are developing an online reputation. What you write and how you write it is permanent.


We want to help you create the very best online reputation possible and have complied some tips for you.


If you have any questions, reach out to the forum administrators, moderators, or other HP Experts.


Educate, educate, educate


The best answers go beyond giving the fix. They explain what the issue is and why a potential fix should be tried.  


For example, a customer complains that his notebook hangs after he has used it for an hour or more.  You could suggest checking to see if the fan is working correctly or recommend a cooling pad.


But, the better more complete answer would be to let him know that if a notebook gets too hot, it may hang.  It is possible the hanging issue is caused by temperature. Checking to see if the fan is working correctly or recommending a cooling pad could help.


Do no harm


Don’t break something on someone’s computer. For example if you have suggestions about doing something in the registry, remind the user to back up his or her computer first and include instructions on how to back it up.


Be kind


Social media can bring out the best and worst in people.  Some forget that there are real human beings that are reading and answering these posts.  People can be rude, especially online since it is more impersonal.


Also, social media attracts people from all over the world from different cultures.  In some cases, they may use Google translate to post. The language and culture differences may make people seem rude when they don’t mean to be.

Be twice as polite as you would be in person. Often times, as soon as you initiate a constructive conversation that person will come back apologetically.


If the person comes back and is rude, don’t take his or her comment personally. The worst thing you can do is to get into an online “fight.” The best option is to walk away from the conversation and enlist the help of another expert or forum administrator.


Keeping a higher level of conduct will help you develop a strong online reputation. While we don't always have to agree on topics, we do need to be polite.


Be patient


You’re the expert. Not many people have the depth of knowledge you do. Try to remember that even though the answer may be obvious to you, it may not be obvious to others. It’s even possible that your intermediate steps may not be obvious—you may need to break these down as well.


Try to be patient, empathetic and kind to those experiencing high levels of frustration. 


Read the question


Make sure you understand what the user is asking before replying. Read the question carefully and give it some thought. Explicitly state any assumptions you make. If you don't understand a question, it's OK to ask for clarification. It’s important to avoid assumptions about the customer’s level of understanding. Communication is a two-way street and may require multiple exchanges especially written communication.


The same question again and again and again


If you know that the question has already been answered in another thread, direct the original poster to that thread. Many experts bookmark answers and keep catalogues of answers so they can quickly reference content when posting. 


Once you’ve reached HP Expert status – feel free to share your own Tips ‘n Tricks in the Inner Circle.



† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation