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Small Business

We offer 5 tips for getting the most benefit from a support forum

Online support communities are a great resource when you need assistance—whether to resolve a technical problem or get solution recommendations. As the owner of a small company, though, your time is at a premium as you juggle the many facets of your business—marketing, accounting, and customer service just to name a few. You don’t have countless hours to spend combing a support community for the help you need.

To make the most of your time in an online support community, here are five tips:

You get what you give

In addition to these tips, there are some best practices for participating in online support communities. For starters, update your profile so other members can understand more about you; this will result in better responses and interactions. Speaking of responses, don’t get into a flame war with other members. Respect everyone and offer constructive criticism—not insults. And feel free to participate at your own comfort level. It’s okay to lurk and check out what other members are saying without participating in the conversation. Remember, you get out of a community what you put into it.

If you do post a question about a technical problem, keep your expectations realistic about response times. Don’t expect an answer within minutes or even a couple hours. For the Small Business Support Community, it can take 24 – 48 hours to receive a response, depending on the technical difficulty of your question. Rest assured, though, you will receive an answer. Also, be open to assistance from other small business customers, not just Cisco employees. Small business members share common experiences and have encountered similar problems as you and are therefore a good source of information.

Every support community platform has unique benefits. Get to know what’s offered in the communities or forums you belong to and take advantage of all the available features. It will help you make the most of your community experience.

What tips do you have for participating in online support communities?

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2 Comments.


  1. Also once can search over the internet for the existing problem.

       0 likes

    • @Sarkar: Great suggestion, if you don’t find what you’re looking for on the online support community, you could always run a search over the internet!

         0 likes

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