Today we’re announcing some important changes to how item support is going to work on ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. All the details are on the Market Blog and I’m opening this thread for discussion and Q&A.
UpdateUpdate: Added a response to some of the key questions arising in the first 20 pages
Some more references to specific questions
Update: Thread Closed, New Post/ThreadWe’ve now closed this thread, and posted an update following it and a new discussion thread.
What if the customer pays for the support pack and ends up not getting the support? Will the customer be entitled for a refund? And how will envato be tackling disputes concerning undelivered support?
Great ideas guys! I think this might improve all the bad ratings buyers give for support as support will now be mandatory
I like the idea of support packs, i also had an idea which was similar to this.
It was like an opt. in button for people who work in envato studio, for example a lot of authors provide wordpress installation services as far as i’ve seen. So only the authors who provide these services can opt. in so that on the download page of the item they buy from the author there will be another button saying “Request author’s services” or something which will lead them to the authors envato studio profile. I think it can improve sales of services in envato studio and also the authors who work in envato studio will not lose customers asking for services out of “the banner” that stays below.
Hope i explained this idea well enough
it’ll be interesting to see how it works out; agree there should be standard guidelines for authors & buyers for what specifically is/should be included w/purchase, vs extended help
@Collis, Appreciate these changes as this is inevitable and Envato have to commit on this one day or another day for ThemeForest & CodeCanyon. But long time questions:
1. Is the item Comments section considered as a viable support channel? There will be any upgrades on Comments section before 1 December 2014?
2. How the rating system will be protected and not biased towards item customisation? Can we expect a separate rating system for product and support? (For TF & CC)
3. I would happily opt for 6 month support (ethical point of view). But how will Envato make sure Free customisation requests will not be misunderstood as mandatory help in this period?
thank you envato
Just 1 question is it required to support items using item comments ?
Well thought improvement! I have a support team and know how it is important for buyers. I think most of the authors has no problems with this new rules.
I have some questions however; what if an author got sick and couldn’t work for 15 days? Will you add some exceptions for such cases? Will you block the item or author’s account when you got a complaint from a buyer?
@SokoThemes: Good questions! At the moment all three are in the “Things we’re still working on” block of stuff.
Normally we’d only make an announcement like this when we had everything answerable, but in this case we wanted to get the general message out early so authors had time to adjust.
Generally speaking, all the business processes associated with refunding/disputes is what we’re working on next – while the team is busy implementing the actual product changes needed.
@IngeniousArtist: Thanks for the suggestion, definitely the way Market and Studio connect is something I’m hoping to look at in more depth next year. We’ve been just doing small experiments at the moment. The overlap between freelance work (customization/installation) and support work is something we’re considering. Today’s announcement is really for the latter part (support).
@VF: Thanks for the questions, yes it was high time we clarified this stuff!
(1) We’ve got on our agenda to consider the actual support tooling, but aren’t committed either way at the moment. We’re first focusing on the core business model.
(2) We’ll have more clarification on how ratings will work in the coming months
(3) Great question, a big part of making these changes is to bring support into clearer light and for us to help authors govern what is and isn’t in scope. As we mentioned in the announcement something like customization should be out of scope for support and not covered and we’d be aiming to have policies in place to make sure buyers are clear on this.
@Najih: Right now the tooling for doing support will continue as-is: either using item comments, or your own support system with our API.
@stmcan: Thanks! I’m optimistic that most authors will feel the same – they already do support, now there will be clearer guidance for it.
In answer to the questions, we’re currently reviewing the vacation case, especially as we’re launching really close to Christmas/New Year! So more details to follow soon.
In regards to complaints and the like, more detail on that coming in the next couple of months, but we’ll have some clear guidelines for both authors and buyers to make sure authors aren’t asked to do things outside of scope and that buyers understand what recourse to take if they are unsatisfied. We’ve gotten some learnings on this stuff from Studio (which is all about service work) and we’re looking to apply some of those here.
Great news as always.
We do need further clarification and improvements on this plan:
1. Support is going to be mandatory, that’s fine. It makes investing time and money in support worthwhile for each author. However, things like response time should be left for author to decide. Major delay in support means bad ratings and loss of sales for author which sounds like a natural process to me.
2. Support policy should be CLEARLY described on the main item support page just after the buy now button, atleast for a year after this is implemented. User expectation needs to be set on what’s allowed and what’s not.
3. Same as #2 but sent out to all users in a newsletter who has more than 1 active item purchased.
4. How will disputes be handled? Since support will be mandatory with paid support, we do need to have guidelines on dispute and refunds for both authors and buyers.
Inspiration for Envato: http://www.studiopress.com/what-support-includes
Definitely, we’re aiming to have a lot more clarification in the following months, and we’ll be continuing to work on features around item support after Dec 1 as well.
Completely agree about making sure user/buyer expectations are set correctly. Those are some good ideas on reinforcing it, will make sure we discuss them.
Disputes, refunds, and response time requirements, are all in our list of things to clarify next up!
Now that we have the main announcement out, we can open up our author and buyer research a little more to get insight in and make sure on Dec 1, we have a system everyone feels is workable.