FAQ power

Fred wanted to post an ad for a job on Craigslist and to add some photos of his workplace. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to do it. So he wrote to them. He points us to this response he got from Craigslist, usually renowned for its tech support:

Unfortunately, we don’t offer image hosting for the following categories:

* jobs
* gigs
* services
* resumes

If you’d like to add an image to a post in one of those categories, you’ll
need to upload the image to a server somewhere else, then add HTML code to
your post that references that image. (more bad news — we don’t provide
tech support for this task.)

craigslist customer support

Anytime you send someone a note like this, where you basically say, "we’re not going to help you, go away," you’re doing something unnecessary. Don’t tell them to go away, tell them where to go. Worse, if you do it when the person is about to buy something (in this case a help wanted ad) you’re leaving money on the table as well.

Posting a picture for an ad on Craigslist is so common that they’ve got boilerplate for the letters they get asking for help. So why not have a FAQ page for it? (All you need to do is google Craigslist Picture Hosting to learn how… you could write the FAQ in five minutes.) Then, at the bottom of the FAQ, it’s easy to say, "We don’t support this, but if you have trouble, here are three or four forums where people might be able to help you…"

We now live in a do-it-yourself world. You can ask customers to buy their own tickets, fill out their own forms, support their own software. But pointing them to resources will buy you a lot of loyalty. (And save you a lot of grief).