Your product starts growing, the inbox is a bit overwhelming, customers want faster replies, and you obviously deduce you need someone to help you. The most common and unfortunate choice is finding the popular “support champion”, someone enthusiastic and communicative but with little or no technical background.

There’s nothing wrong about them, quite the opposite. They are usually very empathetic with customers and could actually be great strengthening and building relationships down the road.

And that’s great, you can always have your “customer success managers”.

But this is a completely different role, and they have their right place in time. And to make it short, it’s not when development teams are implementing your service, debugging or even handling an outage.

That’s why you need engineers to help these customers.

Someone that is able to understand, evangelize, and teach the core concepts of your product.

If someone asks a question, they’re expecting a fast and straightforward answer for it.

If I send you an email, I want a solution.

Nobody enjoys a bunch of back-and-forths between your support champion and engineering team.

If you have a technical product that requires a certain knowledge of programming, finding someone with this kind of background should be your main objective. If you can’t do it, you and your team can only look at headaches down the road.

You need intelligent and knowledgeable people (sometimes, actual engineers) than can independently educate and answer the majority of emails reaching your inbox. Otherwise, they’re not helping, they’re just chatting and handling conversation, and that’s something programmers can smell from a mile away.

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