Reps/SOPs/MozCoffee/Firefox Clinic

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Firefox Clinic (Help Desk)

During your MozCoffee you may consider having a Firefox Clinic!

Giving support in person is a very fun and rewarding way of representing Mozilla. It is very important that users can solve the problems they encounter with Firefox, so that they keep using Firefox and recommend it to their friends.

Take the challenge, troubleshooting is a lot of fun! In many cases it is very easy to help users, since SUMO has most of the documentation needed. Some times some extra effort is required, but that's when the fun starts. And don't forget: you are not alone: the SUMO community has your back and will help you on the IRC channel #sumo.

The gratitude of the users and the feeling that you solved a problem and saved some one's day is one of the greatest things of being part of SUMO, so try it out. If you get more friends and Mozillians to help you, it will be easier and more fun.

In order to do a Firefox Clinic within your MozCoffee make sure you allocate specific time for it and include it in the communications for the event. Also make sure you get in contact with your local Sumo Locale leader (List of Locale Leaders) inviting her/his over to help out with the Clinic, she/he is the expert on Sumo!

How to set up a Firefox Clinic (Help Desk)

  • Find a good location to set up your help desk (clinic). For a very basic Clinic event you just need a sign and your computer with internet connection. So it's a just matter of finding a place that would allow you to help users in person. Universities, schools and community centers usually are ideal for this. But you can find other locations where people gather and you can set up your clinic.
  • Promote the event: not every one is expecting a helping hand in the middle of the day, so make sure that you promote your event. Use social media, word of mouth, flyers, posters. This will increase the amount of people coming. Here are also helpful materials that you can adapt to promote your own Firefox clinic: http://people.mozilla.org/~mverdi/files/firefoxclinic/
  • Set your hours so that every one knows when it starts and ends. You can also ask people to bring their own computer if possible.
  • Try to do the event on a regular basis. If you try to do the event regularly (every week, every two weeks, every month, etc.) it will increase the chances of more people showing up and bringing friends and family, since they know when they can get help with Firefox. This is also a great way to show Mozilla's presence in your area and you can use this event to evangelize.
  • Consider partnerships You may wish to offer Firefox support as part of a larger user to user support offering. This can help increase traffic, make support more fun as there are more people to talk shop with, and can even help Firefox users make the switch to other open source projects. A local Linux club, for example, might be interested in combining forces. Other groups might also be able to help you find a suitable location and new helpers.


Prepare for giving support

  • Get to know the top issues

Support.mozilla.org keeps track of what articles are accessed most often as well as what issues people are commonly asking about on the forums.

  • Get familiar with the existing documentation

Support.mozilla.org has many articles translated into different languages. There are also some great community run support sites for Mozilla's projects. Check out what exists for your region so you know where to go if you get stuck.

  • Get some practice

If you’re not already the go-to in your family or circle of friends for tech help, or even if you are, you may want to get some practice by answering user questions in the Support Forum. Or join the Army of Awesome and practice helping users on Twitter.

  • Get help

If there's a question you can't answer you can always try to ask the community on the #SUMO IRC channel. Most of the time there's someone there that will be able to help. Otherwise you can post the question to the support forum. Here's a cheat sheet that will help you prepare for supporting users on Firefox Clinics.