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Answer the next question now

Updated: Jun 5

One cartoon hand figuratively holding exclamation points and another cartoon hand figuratively holding lightbulbs

Tech support people are often eager to move on to the next item. With ratios of one tech person to a hundred employees being commonplace, it’s not unusual for a tech support person to be inundated with a queue of requests. 

As a result, the moment they’re done they usually write a very short reply to the original requestor, usually as terse as “this is done.” If you’re the support person, it’s tempting to mark the item as “done”, close out the ticket, finish your queue and go home to rest.

Think about the person receiving your answer. What are they likely to do? If you’re able to predict what their next question might be, try answering it in advance. You’ll save yourself an email, new ticket, reply, new email with a “thank you”, an archiving/delete of that message, and a bunch of time.

Here are common responses tech support people give, without anticipating the next question the customer is likely to be thinking:

A table with two columns: one with the answer and the other with the question

Include phrases like “you may be wondering” or “the next logical question would be...” - this will show the person that you acknowledge their confusion or their desire for this not to be a regular or necessary step.

By answering the next question now, you’ll improve your quality and professionalism, and possibly cut way down on future inquiries.


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