The voice on the other end of the phone was a very concerned doctor.
He had just gotten off the phone with whom he thought was Intuit QuickBooks support.
“I Googled™ QuickBooks support. I thought it was Intuit,” he said slowly.
He wasn’t suspicious when the support person who answered had an accent, as he had talked to companies before that outsourced the call centers overseas.
He wasn’t suspicious when the support person asked for a credit card number to charge for the phone call, as he realized it would not be free.
He wasn’t suspicious when after five minutes of general question answering, the support person asked to remote into the desktop computer to see the doctor’s QuickBooks.
He wasn’t even suspicious when the support person installed an “analysis” program to determine what was wrong with his QuickBooks.
It was only when the support person told him he had a corrupted file and would have to send it to them to be repaired for $900.00 that he became suspicious.
He became nauseated when he realized he had unsuspectingly allowed someone he did not know remote access to his computer, even installing an “analysis” program.
When he called me next, I validated that the number he called was not associated with Intuit QuickBooks at all and that his QuickBooks file was not corrupt.
In fact, the problem he had been having with QuickBooks was resolved fairly easy.
We developed a plan that included notifying his credit card company, uninstalling the software the “support” person installed, running the security software and malware software scans, notifying his IT company, etc. – none of which included QuickBooks.
He knew me. Why didn’t he call me?
“I thought it might be a little cheaper to go through Intuit.” Well, at least he was honest.
So he “Googled” to find another option.
Sadly, this is not the first practice to call and let me know they called an overseas “support center” by mistake. And those other times, the situations also did not call for cleaning a “corrupted” file. They were simple fixes.
Many years ago, a caller said, “You are my last hope. I have called my CPA. I have called Intuit. Neither of them could help. In fact, I think what Intuit did made it worse and I was on the phone with them for over two hours. Can you help?”
She should have started with me as it was a simple fix, taking less than five minutes.
This only accentuates that as a business owner, a practice owner, it must be clear that the person from whom you seek advice is not only who they say they are but also an expert in what they are advising.
Another client called and said their technology company was recommending QuickBooks Online. Not their CPA. Not their consultant. But their IT company?
It is fairly well known that I do not recommend QuickBooks Online, and I am an Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. I actually know what I am not recommending and the reasons behind it.
My advice to the client was to tell the IT company to stay in their lane, their area of expertise.
Not everyone is an expert in every field. Not even me.
I do not give self-serving advice. If you call me for a consultation, we talk to determine your dilemma, what is the most appropriate means to solve it, and the most financially fiscal means to do it. I am busy and do not try to sell you something just to add revenue to my company. It must be a good fit for both of us. Every consultant should offer this.
My business offering is limited in scope and very focused. I have worked very hard to be the expert in my field. And I continue to learn as much as I can in that scope to be of maximum benefit to my clients.
I work solo. One person, not many employees to talk or work with. One does not have to be the largest company to be an expert. Over the years, I have considered expanding but truly enjoy the one-on-one contact with my clients in their journey.
Where is this coming from?
Someone on a dental social media site received some bad advice for their practice from posters. It was a heated discussion. Everyone offered their “expertise.” It was not a dental question but a legal issue. Posters shared their opinions as if they were quoting laws.
In fact, some even tried to post legal information they gained from Google™.
I wanted to stay out of the misinformation sharing, as I am also not an attorney. I did post a few questions and the suggestion to seek an attorney as no one on the site was an attorney.
The majority of the strong opinions offered would not hold up in court. They were merely emotional responses to the situation, expressed as “this is what you should do” answers. Unfortunately, everyone has an opinion and they are not all right opinions.
Don’t get me wrong, social media sites can be helpful to point someone in the right direction.
Just be sure to recognize that the posters may not be giving the correct advice.
But how do you validate expertise? Who should you call when you are faced with a dilemma?
Ask colleagues/others in your business who to call.
I had one of those phone calls today.
“Good grief. I posted I was having a problem in my practice in our Facebook group and twenty different people told me to call you. Have you worked with them all?”
Word of mouth is still the best marketing. How can I help you?