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graphic_dev says

I was just wondering if those of you who have handled support via comments/e-mail and later moved on to a hosted support forum, have noticed an increase/decrease in the number of support tickets?

I’m thinking that once a buyer has taken his/her time to register on a forum, they might ask more questions than they would have in comments/e-mails…

Trying to weight the pros and cons of a self-hosted support forum…

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joomfx says

I have just started my support forum and I’m really exited about it :)

In my opinion the pros are much more than the cons. For example, you will answer the same question once, not like in email support, because your customers will see the topic and will not post a new one ( in most cases :D )

With a forum it is also much easier to handle the support – everything is organized and centralized. Your customers will also be able to read other topics that they are interested in – other problems with the product, customized codes that you have provided to another customer, etc.

With a forum you will also build a little/medium society, which in my opinion is quite valuable for your business :)

Also, when your business get bigger you can easily hire a person to do the support for you and simply make him a moderator in the forum.

I cannot tell you if the customers ask more questions (more support tickets) yet, but even if this is true, I still think a support forum is much better than email/comments support.

It’s up to you man, and to your business model. I hope the above information will help you :)

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biyanpasau says

I’m just about to run a forums. Currently I handle support via email, but it makes me crazy to answer the same questions everyday.

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graphic_dev says

Thanks for the responses.

Anyone else? I’m mostly interested in understanding if the number of support tickets increases.

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crossroad says

I’ve been helping my friend for theme support on the external support forums. I do not have experience of support via tickets or any other way, so I cannot compare, but I noticed that on the support forums, the users start dragging the thread very much. Once you have answered to the question, they ask for more (eg. thanks, btw, can this be done that way too?) and each thread turns into a conversation with like 10-20 posts (or may be I did not know how to handle support in better way).

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FinalDestiny says

That happens via e-mail / on tf comments as well… But even if they wouldn’t do that, they would still ask the same questions, but open multiple tickets, which I find more hard to track

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joomfx says

I posted on this topic 16 days ago when I just released my support forums. Now I can give you more accurate information :)

Yes, customers ask more questions, open more threats, etc. Definitely !! But still, your support is more organized, centralized and user-friendly :)

It is up to you how you will support your customers… you need to find the best formula for your business ;)

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tommusrhodus says

More tickets, but also, more happy customers, and that’s what’s most important :)

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joomfx says

More tickets, but also, more happy customers, and that’s what’s most important :)

Yep, I definitely agree with you TommusRhodus :) You might get overloaded in the beginning but the tricky part is to teach/inform your customers that customization requests are NOT included in the support. I always try to assist my customers with small customizations/modifications but this is only if I have time. For anything else I ask them to hire a freelancer (they could also pay me for some big customization but I really do not have time for such) :)

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