How to Answer New Customer Questions About Your Product

How to Answer New Customer Questions About Your Product

by | Customer Success, Knowledge Management, Product Education, Use Cases

It doesn’t matter how much you know about your product and processes: At some point, you’ll have to answer new customer questions no one has heard of.

These are make-or-break moments for brands.

Nail the response and delight a customer while uncovering an issue you can proactively fix.

Fumble the response and you turn a customer into a critic. And you spend a lot of time chasing down a problem that could be spent on growth.

Brand new problems are a big challenge for Customer Success leaders.

What’s needed is a nimble solution.

Knowing the Unknown

There are 4 kinds of problems:

  1. The Known Known: Problems you know about and have a solution ready for.
  2. The Known Unknown: Blind spots you’re aware of and can manage.
  3. The Unknown Known: Problems you’re unaware of but can solve easily.
  4. The Unknown Unknown: Problems you’ve never heard of and don’t know how to solve.

Any great Customer Success team aims to turn every problem into a “Known Known”. It’s acceptable to be ready for Known Unknowns and Unknown Knowns, because you can figure them out quickly.

All the time, expense, and frustration go into solving the Unknown Unknown. These are the problems no one has ever experienced until a high ACV customer drops a seemingly simple support request into your inbox.

Sounds good, right?

Wrong. Because for every customer who asks, 20 more simply cope with it or walk away.

Getting that solution into the world is more important than just delighting this one customer: It’s a matter of solving the hidden pains that limit growth.

Documenting Reality

Our Customer Success Manager, Sam, is having a great year. He solved the onboarding problem for teams and customers. He introduced a complete, easy, and scalable solution for bringing all the best knowledge to one place.

But now he has to solve a problem no one knows how to solve.

How does he do it? By documenting reality.

About 50% of all problems are a problem of definition. One person experiences one reality while another person experiences another. Simply bringing everyone to the same page often solves the problem.

And even if it doesn’t, being on the same page solves any problem.

What Sam needs is a tool that easily captures what’s happening. No clunky support, long implementations, or subjective descriptions during an awkward screen-sharing session.

With Extelli, Sam can turn every click into a screenshot and every process into a Guide in seconds. Documenting the problem – what the customer sees – takes seconds.

Building the Solution

Documenting reality is crucial, but it’s the first step. Thanks to Extelli, Sam has a perfect visual record of his customer’s experience.

What does he do now?

He solves it, of course. Equipped with an objective “show me” Guide, he can work with his cross-functional team to quickly find or make a solution.

Maybe it’s a known issue that he’s never heard of. Sam can instantly socialize the problem to his network with his guide, with no explanations required.

Even if the solution doesn’t exist, Sam has objective documentation for exploring the issue.

And in the very same tool, he can easily create a new solution using the same Guides and screen captures that showed him the problem in the first place.

Sharing the Solution

The problem is solved. The bug is fixed. The process is updated. Mission accomplished?


But it can be in seconds.

Sam’s solution – 3 updated process Guides that are part of a Learning Module – needs to meet the customer and the world.

That’s the beauty of Extelli: Because Sam built the problem and solution in the tool, his work to share the solution is 99% done.

All he has to do is send the new Guide link to his customer or assign them a quick Learning Module.

Complete systems often seem like magic because the solution seems to appear when they’re working well.

Integrating the Solution

Sam’s almost there. The customer is delighted. The knowledge is updated in Sam’s Library for anyone to find. Never again will he or another team member spend hours re-solving that problem.

But he’s not quite done.

Great professionals solve the problem now and forever.

Sam needs to integrate his solution into the product or process.

His work is almost done. Sam can bring the lesson learned to the next cross-functional team project with the same Guides and Learning Modules he used to help his customer. Everyone will start on the same page, looking at the same documented reality, to create a permanent solution.

That’s auto-magic.

Nimble Knowledge Management Creates Consistently Great Solutions

Sam had a tough problem: A high ACV customer found a serious issue that no one had ever seen.

Normally, Sam would have spent a lot of time defining the problem, finding or building a solution, sharing that with the customer, and then fixing it in the backend with his cross-functional team. Hours, days… maybe even weeks of work.

But because Sam invested in a nimble knowledge manager that makes creating, organizing, and collaborating on knowledge a smooth and integrated process, he solved the entire problem in one day.

That’s right. From the first inbox request to educating the customer and patching the issue happened before 3 pm.

All because Sam chose the right system for collaborating with customers and teams.


Be like Sam. Try Extelli for free for 14 days, no credit card required. Then you can join Sam to turn scary Unknown Unknown problems into golden opportunities to delight customers and solve hidden problems.

If Extelli doesn’t become your team’s go-to knowledge manager in 30 days, your next month is on us.

Today we discussed how Extelli helps the busy Customer Success Manager for a fast-growing B2B eCommerce platform help his company keep growing fast while slashing his team’s time and effort.

Join the Conversation

Extelli lives in the world we’re discussing here, and we would love for you to join the conversation. Check out our post about this topic on LinkedIn.