EP35 – Customer support: public forum or private email? – May 20 2013

This weekend discussion is about methods of providing support to your customers, or as a customer how do you want to be supported?

Live stream starts today (Monday) at 11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST.

A year ago (about there), WooThemes, StudioPress and even Yoast managed questions and support via a discussion forum (WooThemes & StudioPress on their own sites, Yoast on WP). But recently, we’ve seen WooThemes & StudioPress shift to email-based tickets and Yoast announce the same. The upside is better ticket management. The downside is lower visibility, less community resource, lower interaction of users helping users.

How do you support your customers? How much is public? How much is Private? What do you think about these shifts? Support? Disagree?

[LISTATTENDEES event_identifier=”ep35-customer-support-public-forum-or-private-email-may-20-2013-5-5199b033d” show_gravatar=”true”]


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7 responses to “EP35 – Customer support: public forum or private email? – May 20 2013

  1. Adam Silver Avatar
    Adam Silver


  2. contempoinc Avatar

    I personally use a private support site with tickets and a knowledbase. Found going private with support having to verify buyers with a purchase code eliminates all the prospective people who download my themes for free and still try to ask questions.

  3. dixonge Avatar

    Hey @ChrisLema and @CDils ! Long time no see…

  4. chriswallace Avatar

    We’re actually building an app (as a WP plugin) called IssuePress that allows support organizations to cut out the middle layer between customers and developers. IssuePress allows you to offer a public support system for private Github repositories, making it easy to keep relevant issues in one place and discussion focused on obtaining resolutions for your customers. To be notified when it’s release you can follow me on twitter @chriswallace for updates.

  5. Scott Bolinger Avatar
    Scott Bolinger

    Checking this out now. Our support is in transition, so very timely for me!

  6. MariaScarpello Avatar

    Interesting talk here today guys! We’ve done a lot at WooThemes to try and help accomodate our customers better. Taking away the forum was something that definitely did not go over well and bringing it back using ZenDesk seemed to help please the customers. http://adii.me/the-greatest-startup-hackI specifically have been trying to focus as much time as possible at proactive customer support in terms of documentation. The support team as a whole tries to transfer a few tickets a day into our already massive forum (accessible to paying WooThemes customers only).  We’ve done a great job at creating products but not spent as much time as we could on proper documentation. We’re working hard to improve that and I believe ZenDesk has provided a very elegant solution to help us in this regard. That said, there is always room for improvement! We’ve recently introduced a new feature in our new docs site (open to the community) that will allow customers to report docs that need improvement so we can help spot errors and make updates we may have missed. I believe better documentation and clearly setting expectations (in terms of how our support can and can not help) will go a long way towards our proactive customer support approach. I believe customers choose Woo not only for our great products, but also for our customer support, so we do everything we can to help deliver on our #1 goal: customer happiness. Cheers!

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