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How Long To Wait To Allow Members To Respond?

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

If you answer the question, others are less likely to answer it.

If you don’t answer the question, the poster has to wait longer for the answer.

In communities with up to 150 questions or less per day, a single community manager can probably answer every question personally.

If you’re seeing trend lines suggesting you will go beyond that, you need a different solution. But you probably don’t have the giffgaff mass to allow members to answer every question within 10 minutes.

There are plenty of solutions to this problem.

1) Answer the most difficult questions and leave the easier ones for community members to show their expertise.

2) Reply quicky but tag in others members to share their experience and answers. This is the most common. The poster isn’t left feeling ignored, yet others are encouraged to participate. This requires @mentions.

3) List unanswered questions with [important]. [urgent], [v,urgent] tags the longer it remains unanswered. Or try [beginner], [advanced], [expert] tags…people gravitate to answering expert questions first.

4) Introduce a points system where the points granted by answering questions decreases the longer it doesn’t get a response (e.g. incentivize answering questions quickly).

5) Introduce a points system where the points granted by answering questions increases the longer it goes unanswered (e.g. incentivize answering difficult questions).

6) Have new questions sent to an ambassador group who compete to answer first. If the question isn’t answered within {x} hours it gets sent to the community manager to answer urgently.

Your mileage with each will vary, so feel free to explore.

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