Ask the Coach

Support Vs. Sales

Q. Dear Help Desk Coach:

The new company I’m working for has an innovative product that 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 who want us to explain the product. These calls detract from our time available to support existing users and do other relevant support tasks.

When I bring this problem to the attention of managers, they say because my group has extensive product knowledge, 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 support requests and resent the information requests being included in my group’s workload. What can I do?


Conscientious Charles

A. Dear Conscientious Charles:

You’re absolutely correct:  inquiries for product 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 dilemma requires intervention from a top manager. Please document all inbound contacts and segment them in to requests for support from existing users, and non-user requests for product information. Assess how much of your team’s time is spent handing support request vs. information requests.

Take this data and meet with your manager. Explain that with new product launch looming, your team needs to spend time familiarizing themselves on new product.

Voice your concern that existing users’ need for support is compromised when your team is busy answering prospective customer questions. Request your manager push this matter upward, using your data and emphasize the importance of a reputation for excellent product support is to an organization.

I wish you the best in advocating the best for your team and company.


Help Desk Coach

©Donna Earl, 2018