How Do You Deal With Support or General Questions?
I just added this to JenSocial, and usually like to space the two - - in regards to adding Tips. But, I thought this should be shared now.
When a member of your Social Network asks you a question, how do you handle your answer?
- Do you answer them at all?
- Do you answer them in a timely manner?
- Do you think it through, before you answer?
- And most importantly, if you do answer them, do you talk to them like they’re an idiot? Are you condescending or dismissive?
I ask a Support Question. I receive an answer. The Support Person assumes that I know nothing. From the overall "best practices" of a help desk, this is actually okay. Because it means the Support Person is covering all bases, regardless of the knowledge level of the person asking the question.
What’s not okay? And, this is a huge pet peeve of mine. If they answer you and make suggestions as if:
- You should know the answer.
- You shouldn't ask such a dumb question in the first place.
- You don’t have a brain and never thought of their awesome suggestion.
- You don’t know how to turn on a computer.
- You are 10 years old.
- Or the worst - - you're too old to breath their Technologically Enhanced Air. After all, they were conceived over a web-cam. This one is absurd, but so true. Some younger Support People assume everyone who asks a question, must be old and living in a cave. So, Help Desk Managers if you're reading this, watch for this issue.
Get the drift? When you answer a support question, stop and think before you hit the reply button.
Let’s give some examples:
Support Question: My Profile Page is flickering, and I can’t do anything. What’s wrong?
WRONG Answer: I could help you better if you had sent me a screen shot of your profile page. Let me show you how to do this. Here’s a link that will provide step-by-step instructions on how to capture a screen and save to an image file. Link provided here. helplink.com
====== Your signature is also important! This example uses "Cheers". Excuse me? Cheers? Are we at a New Year's Eve Party? LOL, actually Cheers is great for more personal conversation. But not great for Support Desk dialogue. ======
Title when appropriate
CORRECT Answer: I’m sorry to hear you are experiencing these issues. I could assist you better if I had a screen shot of your Profile Page. If you could, please send an image with a screen shot. Just in case you’ve never done this, here are the instructions. Link provided here. helplink.com
Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to us reaching a resolution to your issue.
Best Regards, (or Sincerely, Thank you, etc...)
Title when appropriate
Get the idea?
- You have answered your member’s question, or at least gotten the conversation moving towards a solution to the issue at hand.
- You haven’t insulted their intelligence, just in case they know how to capture a screen.
- And, they’ll feel you’re on top of things, and moving forward to help them with a resolution.
- As part of this discussion, Jon Malmo brought up an excellent point, and I totally agree. I think in most cases, the person answering the question has no idea they have possibly insulted or seemed condescending to the person who asked. This is why we all need to stop and think, before clicking SEND.
I've actually used a "real" example I experienced, with the screen capture answer. My answer is sure not perfect, just an example. In fact, I can guarantee you, I have messed up more than once. Sometimes I receive so many questions, it can become overwhelming.
Couple of more thoughts... Since I can sure relate to this one. This is especially for Social Network Creators: I'm not suggesting you answer all questions. Sometimes it's simply not possible. And, I'm not suggesting you answer questions for free, that have nothing to do with your member's experience on your site. I'm just suggesting that when you are able to answer a question - - be professional, polite, and think it through, before clicking reply.
Join the Conversation: Please share your experiences and how you think your question should have been answered.