Re: Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything
Interesting question Bob., the reality is that most participants come to our Ask the Expert events from a variety of backgrounds and depending on the topic of the event discussion they will expect a diversity of responses. Most people, I would say, expect a direct answer to their question as most questions posted state a problem they’re trying to solve. People who come to ECN are usually technology savvy and expect technical experienced SMEs responding to their questions. Someone who is familiar with their inquiry and who’s able to come up with a complete and solutions driven reply is what most members of the audience will expect. With that in mind, when people participate on an Ask the Expert thread they need to ensure to do the following.
- Review the thread on its entirety – A lot of times users come ready with a question in mind and don’t’ bother to read the information previously provided on the thread and want to just post their question. This is definitely okay and understandable as most users come for support on how to solve an issue and not for leisure. However, a lot of times in the description of the event we post useful information like videos, links and assets that point people to helpful material that they can use to inform themselves about the topic in hand. Additionally, people tend to have similar issues on the same topic, so by reading what has previously been discussed on the thread they may find the answer they needed and even gather the experience from an unusual perspective. Therefore, it is highly recommended to review the tread completely and base questions on what they have learned from what has been shared and the specifics of their inquiry.
- Provide full details from the get-go – Providing full details on the first reply will ensure our SMEs will be well informed of the situation and will enable them to provide a complete answer without the need of a follow up. Some of the details to consider when asking a question are: an observation in detail of the issue, name the product, version or even the SR number if available, write specifically what is expected to receive and the potential outcome if this is provided. Finally, it is always important to include any historical inquiries with the system that could potentially be relevant with the current experience.
- Follow up and ask for additional resources – Yes, the goal is not to get to this situation if the customer provided with what I mentioned on the tips above. However, considering that they have the unique opportunity to directly engage with an expert it is best to take full advantage of this opportunity. You never know what you will encounter in the future and the reality is that this SME is only available for a limited period. For this reason, even after the question has been answered, follow up, request additional material, ask for helpful links, provide hypothetical scenarios and even ask how to get help after the thread gets closed. By doing this you will not only solve the current issue, but pave the way to solving inevitable future situations.
Thanks for your question.