One thing I’ve been thinking of doing for a while is running a sort of “drop-in clinic”/“office hours”. In theory, I’d make myself available for a given timeslot and set up a room on something like Jitsi. Anyone who has a question they’d like to ask or something they’d like to go through via screen share can connect and ask the question, and we’ll see what I can do.
I’m imagining that this would be things like “how do I set up a goal to do X” or “can you walk me through how to remove a break from a goal using graph.beeminder.com”, rather than bug reports or suggestions – stuff that may not be easy for support to explain via email, or perhaps even stuff we’d normally be unable to cover via email like how to do more detailed graph tweaks. We definitely wouldn’t be able to cancel derailments for you via that medium, since the email trail is important, but we could potentially do things like add breaks for you or help you change a Toggl do-more goal into a do-less goal, and things like that.
Sessions would not be recorded, and if they work out I’d try to have them regularly, at a range of times. It’d be a first come, first served basis, but if someone had a really long query then I’d probably check in with anyone waiting and check I can’t help them in two seconds flat or something like that.
At the moment, weekend sessions would be unlikely, but if there is interest then it’s something I might do once a month or something like that.
To be totally clear: no sessions are planned yet, and I’m just gathering information about whether folks would be interested and whether there are times it would be viable to run them. For this to go ahead, I need to a) gauge interest and b) decide on a time when I’d run these sessions. So, three polls!
Do you see yourself having a use for sessions like this?
Would you be able to attend weekday sessions?
If such sessions would be useful and you can do so on workdays, what times would you be able to attend?
- 10am-11am GMT+1
- 11am-midday GMT+1
- Midday-1pm GMT+1
- 1pm-2pm GMT+1
- 2pm-3pm GMT+1
- 3pm-4pm GMT+1
- 5pm-6pm GMT+1
- 6pm-7pm GMT+1
- 7pm-8pm GMT+1
- I’d like to attend but none of these times would work
I’d be worried about this drawing good questions away from the Forum and into a medium that’s harder for others to find. It might also draw support time away from the Forum, but maybe you routinely already answer all the Forum questions you can within a very short span of time.
The intention is for it to have the opportunity to be a bit more individualised, and allow for stuff support wouldn’t normally help with. If we did end up seeing good feedback from it about things people are interested in, that’s potential fodder for the help docs or for forum threads here.
One thing we hear a lot is that people aren’t willing to trawl through the forum or read the help docs – they want to hop on a call and have us talk them through things in detail, with a screen share. We’re not likely to go all the way toward doing that, but this might offer an opportunity for people who don’t find text tutorials helpful to get some help, especially at the beginning.
It basically came to mind as an experiment to try based on YNAB and Help Scout’s classes. I attended the latter to learn the product before we decided to use it for support, and it was a good way to get a different perspective.
I find it is a great idea. People have different preferences for communication, so it is good to offer different channels.
I would ask: how can you turn these sessions into public knowledge afterwards? For example, record the demo or solution that you are doing, and publish it on YouTube.
Then, what is the root cause of people not using the forum to find information? Are they lazy? Or it takes too long to find info? Or it is difficult to find the information? They don’t know where to look? Or simply the product is too difficult to use for non-tech savvy users? Etc. Depending on the root cause, you might want to do a different solution.
Otherwise, try it, and extract the learning. Also it can be you offer such sessions when you are not busy, for example during the summer period, or on Friday, or in the afternoon when you are not doing any active anyway.