This can work well if your customers are already familiar with Stack Overflow, and would simply like to ask their questions there. For best results, you'll need to commit to having some of your engineers monitoring the applicable tags and taking on the following responsibilities:
- Helping mediocre / not so great questions become great ones
- Contributing great answers to questions that folks ask within a reasonable amount of time
The first point is positively critical if your customer base is new to our system.
It's distinctly to your benefit to make certain that you stay involved, because your clients are going to associate their experience on the site with your image. When this fails, it's typically because a company has linked to Stack Overflow and done little else.
You also need to provide guidance to your customers on your web site, be sure to give the following:
Make it clear that Stack Overflow is not a dedicated to supporting your users. Let people know that we're a Q&A site for programmers where your engineers and support team participate.
Make it clear that bug reports and feature requests should not be asked on the site.1. Give prominent links to the appropriate places for people to enter these.
Make it clear that billing support should go to a specific address, and make that address / link prominent.
Let people know what product-specific tags they should use in addition to a language tag. YouTube API questions went unanswered for weeks because no language tag was applied to many. The same thing happened with Azure.
Encourage people to ask clear questions that show any problematic code, explain what they hope to accomplish, and describe everything they've done so far to find the problem.
If you'd like to have someone from our community team have a look at your support page, contact us and give us the link - but please make sure it's ready to go before asking (in particular, make sure the tags are listed).
Remember, our sites are community moderated, and that's something that you're going to need to work within. This is why it's imperative for you to have people watching for new questions on the site - it can mean the difference between a horrible and delightful experience for new or inexperienced users.
I meant to have this guidance better fleshed out in our help center, but other things happened and it got away from me. This is the gist of it, though - minus some nice examples and stuff. Give us a ping when you get something up, we're happy to look at it.
1Sometimes questions turn out to actually be bugs, and that's fine. If they know or suspect it's a bug, they should use your bug tracker instead. You do have a bug tracker, right?
But outsourcing your forums or support to Stack Overflow alone is abusive and definitely frowned upon.