As a part (not the main part) of my work I help colleagues with technical issues and answer their questions. I work in a very big company (10k+ employees), so colleagues rarely approach me in person. Generally, there are 3 ways to report an issue or ask for support:
- Messaging me or someone else from my team directly in Slack.
- Asking the question in the Slack channel dedicated to our team (so a lot of people will see it).
- Creating a ticket in a ticketing system.
People use options (1) and (2) more often than (3), because in practice they lead to getting a reply quicker.
The problem is that some colleagues (maybe 1% of them) often message me AND at least one of my colleagues with exactly the same problem, so we both end up working on the same thing without knowing that.
I tried just telling everyone to create a ticket or send a message in the channel, but handling this takes more time.
If somebody messages me directly, we usually have the following dialogue:
- Colleague: Hi Alice, X isn't working.
- Me: Have you tried turning it off and on again?
- Colleague: Thanks, that helped!
If I tell someone to describe the problem somewhere else, I'd first need to explain why I can't answer a simple question right here, and then go and answer it somewhere else. If they create a ticket, I'd need to perform additional steps: assign the ticket to myself, change its status, close the ticket, write "Turning X off and on helped" in the close notes etc.
So, in most cases (when the issue can be resolved within 1h) it's way more convenient for everyone involved to just use direct messages.
How can I handle colleagues contacting multiple people with the same problems/questions? Is it possible to resolve this without asking everyone to avoid direct messages?