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michellemc says

Mind if I chime in here? As a buyer, I hope my 2 cents is helpful. If it an item looks great, and has a low star rating … I look into the comments to see if buyers are posting comments on bugs/problems with the code and it is going unanswered by the author. Or if the author says “I’ll fix it in the next update.” That seems dismissive to the buyers who have already paid for a functional product. For the most part, I’m surprised by how accommodating and polite the authors are to some pretty demanding comments/questions.

I think the comments usually tell a pretty clear story: customers who bought an html site and are upset that the blog isn’t functioning; or ask: how do I change a picture? or make a link? Or start getting angry when their question isn’t answered within an hour! I try to see what people are griping about and consider whether their support expectations were unreasonable or not. That’s usually what’s going on, but every once in awhile there really is an author that has gone MIA .

Sometimes the author has written an awesome help file, but not made it very obvious that it was even included. Or the answers are all posted right there on the page. It may seem like the buyer is too lazy to read instructions, but we may not know that it’s on a tab on sales page, or in folder called “docs” or “assets” in the zip file. Unless it’s the first thing I see, and it’s titled readme.txt I probably will think it’s part of the theme! (ok, maybe readme.pdf too).

I have mixed feelings about open support forums. Once I’m a buyer, I wish they were closed, so I can protect the privacy of the projects I’m working on. But when I’m considering purchasing a theme, they really do play a role in my decision making.

Here’s why I was compelled to post here: the last 2 themes I purchased, (Karma by True Themes and Broadscope by Kriesi) .. the biggest factor in my decision, was the impressive amount of support provided the authors. Honestly, for a $35 theme, I don’t see how they can possibly keep it up. Although I have bought, and will buy multiple themes from these authors, because I know they are going to stand by their work, and I’m going to be able to find answers if I get stuck. Even if it’s just from searching the through all the existing questions.

I’m going on too long. But one last thing I think is important: I’m so grateful for the generosity of the authors, for the amount of help they provide. I have learned so much this year, since discovering T.F., it has renewed my excitement for web design and allowed me to get my feet wet in types of coding that I would not have touched with a ten foot pole, six months ago! That mentoring, has resulted in my continued success with my projects, continued excitement to do more, learn more, BUY MORE !

(I’ve bought themes from T.M. and elsewhere over the years. Their no-support approach, never ever had this effect).

Sorry for the looong post!

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uiuxaesthetics says

Carmen hit the nail on the head…. “Saying all this, be polite and professional to your customers, an undeserved rating can be overcome, a bad customer service attitude will ruin your brand. “

1950 posts Do the Needful
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JamiGibbs says

Hey michellemc, that’s some really great buyer insight. As an author who often schedules a few hours every day to answer support emails, it’s really encouraging to know that the effort does more than just fix a problem; it also inspires!

I wish you much more continued success with future projects and we’re glad to have you around the TF community. :)

5411 posts The Dude Abides
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CodingJack says
Siiimple said

I think I’m at what you’re describing here. I’ve been adamant on offering as much support as I can without being overwhelmed. But it quickly piles up, and before long I’ve either lost track of a request or the requests keep coming time and time again. In some cases I feel quickly assisting a customer will result in a nice rating – but I’ve discovered that in most cases it results in receiving no rating at all.

I can sympathize with how you feel. But I think the pros out-weight the cons. You get a chance to establish a relationship with the customer which can lead to more sales. But more importantly they could become a freelance client which can be quite valuable.

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kelvinmead says

ok, well i’m brand, brand new here, and as a theme / template website, i would not come here for a 1-1 interaction with the guy who made the theme! maybe ive missed the point of the site, but im sure its not called themebook or myforest…

i find the theme i like and i buy it, if i want to tweak it i do it, or i get someone to do it for me.

“hi, stephen king… i bought your book “it”... now its a good book and all, but can you change the clown to a dentist please?”

pfft!

but like i said, im new…

5411 posts The Dude Abides
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CodingJack says

^ Interesting perspective. I was a regular buyer for a few years before I became an author, and I don’t think I ever left a single comment or ever contacted an author for support. The way I approached it was, because the files were so cheap, if something didn’t work out I just went and bought another. I was buying Flash components so it’s a little different than themes, but I think you probably represent a good amount of buyers even here on ThemeForest.

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wptitans says
kelvinmead said
ok, well i’m brand, brand new here, and as a theme / template website, i would not come here for a 1-1 interaction with the guy who made the theme! maybe ive missed the point of the site, but im sure its not called themebook or myforest…

i find the theme i like and i buy it, if i want to tweak it i do it, or i get someone to do it for me.

“hi, stephen king… i bought your book “it”... now its a good book and all, but can you change the clown to a dentist please?”

pfft!

but like i said, im new…

Ver well said. Thanks for being such a nice customer :D. Wished all would think like this, then our lives would be CfH free.

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CLINE123 says
kelvinmead said
...but like i said, im new…

It shows.

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kelvinmead says
CLINE123 said
kelvinmead said
...but like i said, im new…
It shows.

HA, ‘tever that means! (or maybe its a lighthearted reference to my post count… ) ;)

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bloooming says
kelvinmead said

i find the theme i like and i buy it, if i want to tweak it i do it, or i get someone to do it for me.

“hi, stephen king… i bought your book “it”... now its a good book and all, but can you change the clown to a dentist please?”

pfft!

but like i said, im new…

hilarious :-)

The best way to handle a ‘certain kind’ of buyer, is not to handle them at all. If someone comes off jerky, pushy, disrespectful or insulting, no matter how professionally you communicate with them, put them on your blacklist, and simply ignore them forever. Concentrate on the civilized buyers, the ones you want to keep.

Don’t mind the bad rating, that ship has sailed at the moment that person purchased your item.

Luckily it’s just a minority of buyers, most of them are just trying to get their projects done.

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