Q. Dear Help Desk Coach,
The new company I’m working for has an innovative product my team and I support.
Although the company website explains what the product is and how it works, my team and I are constantly getting calls/contacts from non-users asking us to explain about the product. This detracts from our time supporting existing users.
When I bring this problem to the attention of managers, they say my group has extensive product knowledge, and they are best equipped to answer potential customer questions.
I think this is more of a marketing job that’s being forced on my team. We’re facing a new product launch and I’m anticipating a surge in requests for support and dreading the excess of informational contacts too. What can I do?
A. Dear Conscientious Charles,
You’re absolutely correct: those inquiries for information should be handled by a sales/marketing function. Unfortunately, the only contact info on your company’s website leads to your support group, so that’s why your team receives so many inquiries.
This requires intervention from a top manager. Please document all inbound contacts and segment them in to requests from existing users for support, and contacts for product information. Assess how much of your team’s time is spent handing informational requests vs. support requests.
Take this data, and meet with your immediate manager. Explain that with a new product launch looming, your team needs to spend time familiarizing themselves on new product.
Explain your concern that existing users’ need for support will be compromised if your team is busy answering prospective customer questions. Request your manager push this matter upward, using your data and explaining how important a reputation for excellent support of existing products is to an organization.
I wish you the best in advocating the best for your team and company.
Help Desk Coach
© Donna Earl 2017.