I still answer and do support for our users. Being in the trenches has been a way for me to get to know the users and be ahead of what users are looking for or having problems with.
But sometimes, we just can’t understand certain messages.
Here’s a recent example:
Can we use it automatically?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to ask but sometimes, I do wish that people would ask clearly.
Imagine you’re the one selling software, any software. Let’s say you sold Quickbooks or a landing page builder.
Then you got a question like that.
That can mean a lot of things but ultimately, it’ll just lead to a lot of back and forth OR if your support team is patient, a long explanation will be needed to cover all the possibilities.
It takes up time/resources and time to get a response. Multiply it by 100x because a lot of people will ask different things (on a similar level) and well, that’s a lot of wasted time.
For bootstrapped SaaS companies, that’s money out.
That’s time you could’ve put into good use supporting other users or building new stuff.
I look at it from both sides:
From the SaaS company’s point of view: they want your business and will want to offer support as much as possible.
From the user’s point of view: I want to ask “this” but I don’t know how to explain it. I’ll assume you would understand already.
So my approach is simple, if it’s a question that made you (support) pause, craft a nice and complete response to cover the bases.
Then save that response for future use.
When the user replies and confirms what he/she was asking about, then you’d need to document that as well.
We use Intercom, Dashly and Gist in our different SaaS companies to handle support and these help desk softwares can save replies and even automatically suggest articles. If you’re using email, then just save replies in your drafts or Notes app. It will save you a ton of time in the long run and once you get support people to help you out, they will also have access to that and learn faster.
I know, I know, it’s a hassle to do it and you’ll just answer it again in the future or just look for it in your sent messages. Trust me, you won’t find it or laziness will take over and it’ll take more time before the reply is sent back… when there’s already a warm lead that you can convert.
Oh, and don’t assume that it’s just a freak question.
IT WILL BE ASKED AGAIN because chances are you are serving a niche and in that niche, people will have similarities.
I don't post on social media often, but drop me a DM and say Hi. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.