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PaulWinslow says

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt just 4 days after my first theme approval, it’s that the majority of buyers just do not read the documentation provided before sending me email after email.

I was thinking.. the email form we have on our profiles should be improved so that buyers choose an email subject from a drop-down (e.g ‘Feedback’, ‘Support’) and if the subject is support request then they should have to tick a checkbox to confirm they’ve at least attempted to read the documentation first..

I mean the majority of support requests I’ve received via email over the last few days are answered literally in the first couple of pages of my PDF doc – so clearly no effort was made from said buyers to help him/herself first before immediately emailing me.

It hasn’t been a huge problem for me just yet but I can imagine this only escalates as you release more and more themes.

And the real issue here, I think, is that buyers can (and do) often react negatively when you haven’t replied promptly to a comment/email and ultimately give you bad ratings.. when really they would not need to ask for your help if they just actually read through the documentation you’ve already spent hours writing in the first place.

Thoughts?

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bogdanspn says

Yes, kind of a bummer this one, since some work and time goes into those docs… I don’t know how others are but for me writing the doc is about the hardest part of this endeavour :) ...

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CLINE123 says

As an exclusive buyer I have to agree with you. I make it a point of browsing the documentation and comments of a theme for 2 reasons: first so I can find the solution I’m looking for so I can quickly move on, and second, so I don’t look stupid when the answer was already there.

I would like to add that I’ve observed that many questions are from Wordpress newbies who are still in their creeping phase and not able to figure out small problems that a more experienced user would. It’s no fault of their own as I was one such novice myself and still learning too, but I see how they can take out their frustrations on the author.

Personally I wouldn’t mind a system to have a confirmation that they we’ve read the documentation- provided that the documentation is top notch to begin with.

Yes buyers react negatively but by far, for me, the author who best absorbs and deflects negative criticism (and he has so many great themes) is Feleep and he’s always chipper even when reprimanding, ha!

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CyberShot says

one thing that you could do to solve a big part of your issues is set up an auto response. There are a few sellers here who have them. I emailed one such seller a few weeks ago and got a very nice tailored message telling me that he was on vacation for the next week and would not be able to respond.

You could just as easily add into your auto response that while the customer is waiting for you to get back to them, they could go through the documentation as 9 times out of 10 the answer could be found there. Document how much time you spend putting the documentation together so that they won’t need to email you. Inform in a very nice way that all the answers could be found in the docs and that any problem that can’t be solved you will be happy to help them with as soon as you get back into the office

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PaulWinslow says

Yes buyers react negatively but by far, for me, the author who best absorbs and deflects negative criticism (and he has so many great themes) is Feleep and he’s always chipper even when reprimanding, ha!

+1

Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my best to be as sympathetic and polite as I can be with every one of the comments/emails I’ve received – just for the record.

Cheers for your thoughts, mate.

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PaulWinslow says

one thing that you could do to solve a big part of your issues is set up an auto response. There are a few sellers here who have them. I emailed one such seller a few weeks ago and got a very nice tailored message telling me that he was on vacation for the next week and would not be able to respond. You could just as easily add into your auto response that while the customer is waiting for you to get back to them, they could go through the documentation as 9 times out of 10 the answer could be found there. Document how much time you spend putting the documentation together so that they won’t need to email you. Inform in a very nice way that all the answers could be found in the docs and that any problem that can’t be solved you will be happy to help them with as soon as you get back into the office

I agree and I’ve already done that :) I’ve had my autoresponder running for a couple of days now. But that still doesn’t solve my last point in my original post which was the most important one.

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jeffeatworld says

Autoresponder – brilliant!

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Hyperberry says

the email form we have on our profiles should be improved so that buyers choose an email subject from a drop-down (e.g ‘Feedback’, ‘Support’) and if the subject is support request then they should have to tick a checkbox to confirm they’ve at least attempted to read the documentation first.

+1

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