Best practices for answering questions in the Support Forum [Edits welcome!]

These are some questions that new contributors commonly have about answering questions in the Mozilla Support forums which may not be fully answered in the Answering questions on the Support Forum guidelines.

What do I do when I first sign up?

  • Read the documentation and introduce yourself to another user. Check out the get involved page to find out ways to participate right away.

What do I do when the user does not want to follow the suggested procedures?

  • Click on the "Report Abuse" link next to the post, located under the 'Mark as Spam' button in the right column of the support question page.

What do I do if the user becomes aggressive/nervous?

Tips and Tricks

Here are some useful tips and tricks from users that have been answering questions for a long time:

Starting Out:

  1. Always be polite, if you feel yourself needing to be rude, impolite or rant, please step away and do something nice for yourself (e.g. tea, chocolate, coffee, hike, walk, bicycle, etc) and come back 1 hour later :-).
  2. You do not have to answer every question!
  3. Please try to go back and respond to responses that are awaiting for your response before answering a new one.
  4. When there is more than one user posting help in a forum, please acknowledge one another in your responses and work together for a solution, opposing answers can be confusing. Aim on answering the user's questions, if you see two answers as a user how would you feel?
  5. Even though in customer support, answers are best solved if you are really responsive during the first 48 hours of a life a of a post, you don’t want to just reply for the sake of replying quickly; only reply if you have something that can move the question resolution forward please!
  6. Focus on things that you know to start with. Do not be worried that you cannot do everything. Perhaps start by looking at people using the same operating system as yourself, or an element of Firefox that you are comfortable with.
  7. Pace yourself. Set yourself a small target of just answering two or three questions when you are online.
  8. Be nice. Add a personal touch, don't come across as a robot. Be aware of the fact that some users may be very frustrated and just want their problem solved.
  9. When you use 'canned' answers : be sure to edit them where necessary.

Conduct Research:

When starting, try some research to answer the question before posting:

  1. Did someone answer a question like this in the past - search other questions
  2. Are there articles on this subject that the user has not answered yet?
  3. Are there any workarounds that are less that 4 years old on related support sites such as or ?
  4. If it is a Firefox issue, you can ask for information from the about:support page. See Use the Troubleshooting Information page to help fix Firefox issues for details.

Always Read More:

  1. Try to fully understand the question and the problem, if something is fuzzy ask the user for more details. When you give an answer that has nothing to do with the question/problem the user will be frustrated.
  2. Read the question from the first to the last letter - too many times a user replies to an answer they've been giving : "Have you not read what I wrote..."


  1. Flag duplicate questions and inform the user to stick with original by linking them to it, as detailed here.

Working with Others:

When working with other support forum contributors remember to follow these tips:

  1. If someone is already working on a question, do not jump in until they have left that question, only contribute what you think will help the end user by adding onto the original reply.
  2. If you get a nasty message in your inbox from another supporter, do not hesitate to report it to a moderator or admin. You can do by e-mailing
  3. Having a dispute with another community member? We are happy to help, please try to resolve differences according to the Community Guidelines. Contact a moderator or admin if intervention is required.
  4. Read everything that has been posted by others, before posting yourself.
  5. Encourage other contributors if you notice someone new, you could be a higher rank too if that is what your goal is.


Important things to keep in mind!

  1. A positive attitude will make the user comfortable and will improve the relationship between Support and end-user. Be nice, be polite, be gentle. Put yourself in the user’s position.
  2. Have fun! Think about how good it is to solve someone else’s problem, and therefore making that person (that is probably thousands of miles away from you) have a better experience in the Web.
  3. Sometimes there will be questions (or additions to questions) where users say how much they like Firefox and Mozilla. Acknowledge these comments and keep it fun - it will make these users feel valued.
  4. Keep your posts simple, and don't give them endless lists of do's and don'ts that they can't make head or tail of, that are way over their head.
  5. It does not matter if you are a top 25 or top 10 contributor, your quality contributions are still highly valued. Most questions don’t require in depth technical knowledge or more than a few months of experience using a Mozilla product. Just a few troubleshooting tricks, a positive mentality and some polite interactions with Firefox users!

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