Recently, I posted an answer here on meta. In it, I realise that we have a problem with technical support questions - essentially, going on half of our questions are closed, and going on half of those are technical support. This is the answer:
We have a problem with technical support questions.
I'm not just saying that; I went and dug out the stats.
In the last 90 days, we have had:
- 444 questions asked
- 200 of those closed (45.05%)
- 81 of those closed as technical support (40.50% of closed).
That's a problem. Not only is our close rate one of the highest on the network, but going on half of our closed questions are for one reason. It's not a massive issue, but it's certainly pressing and could do with having some resolution. On a purely statistical basis, if we didn't get any technical support questions, just 27% of our questions would be closed, which is far more normal.
When there's an issue like this, something needs fixing. So, what's broken?
- the users asking these? ❌
- the people closing them? ❌
- the guidance we're giving? ✓
OK, it's probably not that clear-cut, but you get the point. Most of the time, it's not the user's fault that they think technical support is on-topic here. To get to the point, perhaps that's partly down to the site's name.
Now that I've dug into all the stats and found this, I'll be posting some more meta questions to see what we can do about this issue - but for now, I'll make it clear that I think the site name might be a problem, and therefore I support changing it to something clearer.
The second half of that is only relevant to the question is was posted to, but the first half is illustrative of my point here. We get a lot of technical support questions, which we then close. That doesn't give our front page a great image, and in the worst case may actually be driving people away from the site.
What can we do about this? Various people have come up with a few options already, which I've still got a few posts to write about. But let's have ideas from the community at large. What can we do to educate users before they ask that technical support is not something we do?