It goes without saying, that a good, well-thought-out question, will determine the quality of the answer.

But last week, an answer took me by surprise…

I went to collect some new IT equipment from the Currys store in New Malden and needed a comfort break before collecting my stuff.

So I popped into B&Q just down the road, and asked the assistant – ‘Can you tell me where the Gents are please?’

A fair and clear enough request, I thought.

Her reply – ‘Why, you want to use them?’

I was stumped at this point. I was thinking, what other purpose would I request directions for the loo?!

So with a rather perplexed look, I replied with a simple yes. 😕

Now in hindsight, I could have said – ‘I need to go to the loo desperately, so can you tell me where the Gents are please?’

The same can be applied when you search online…

So if you’re using Google or ChatGPT, it pays off to be as succinct as possible, to get quality results.

For example, if you had an Error 1000 showing up within Microsoft Word on your computer. Rather than just input Error 1000 word into Google, a better search would be…

Error 1000 in Microsoft Word 2016 on Windows 11

With the first entry, the criteria is way too vague, which means you’d end up with a whole load of inappropriate and unhelpful results.

Or if Mrs H was planning a trip to Basingstoke, she could type the following into ChatGPT…

Whilst avoiding motorways, what is the quickest route from Cobham to Basingstoke by car.

This can also be applied if you’re on the lookout for a new washing machine, car, house or just about anything.

Because, if you walk in with a list of your specific requirements, the salesperson can use this information to rule out what’s not appropriate or useful to you.