Best practice principles for managing duplicate posts/threads

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Hi!
My little Community is still pretty new, and we're still learning lots about our members. One of our biggest issues is posters asking the same kinds of questions over and over and over... (which I know is very common on forums of all kinds).

 

Our policy is to only provide general information (there are some potential legal issues if we provide personalised advice) and we spell this out very clearly in our guidelines and terms of service. However, all of our members will have slightly different circumstances, which they're using as the basis for posting virtually identical questions.

 

I've been trying to do some research into best practice guidelines, but it doesn't look like anything exists. I was wondering how other community managers deal with these situations? I'm thinking of three different scenarios:

  1. I create a custom [Duplicate] tag to add to all duplicated enquiries, and then redirect the member to the correct thread and lock their post.
  2. I move all of these duplicated enquiries to the one thread, and add a sticky at the top to explain why.
  3. I write a Knowledge Base article and use a standardised response to send all of these enquiries to the KBA.

Has anyone tried these ideas before? What produced the best outcomes for your Community? I'd love to get your ideas (and feedback on mine).

 

Thanks! @elya

 

 

 

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1 REPLY

Hi @elya - duplicate questions is definitely a problem in support communities! Cat Sad I think your third option is the best option -- direct people all to the same source of content. Try to make that content visible to new users so perhaps they stumble upon it before asking their question. Encourage search before post. Train your super users or moderators to make use of macros, and provide a standard response that links to the KB content.

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Lili McDonald
Community Manager @ National Instruments


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