708 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold more than $1M on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $1M+ on Envato Market and is now a Power Elite Author
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
+5 more
Dream-Theme says

Hey guys!

We are working on new knowledge base with advanced search and troubleshooter. So you’ll be able to find a solution for your problems quickly and even without submitting a support ticket.

At this point we’d be very glad to hear your opinion: what type of communicational tool do we need>

- a support forums (pros: transparent, searchable; cons: harder to provide individual support);

- a ticket system (pros: great individual service; cons: less transparent (but who will need it with decent knowledge base?)).

In fact, question is more like: would you (buyers) like to have a place to communicate with each other (concerning some customization questions, plugins compatibility, etc.) or you’d prefer an individual approach and quick solving of your issues (don’t forget that normally customization is beyond the scope support)?

Thank you in advance for your feedback!

353 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 5 years
  • Has collected 100+ items on Envato Market
  • Located in United Kingdom
kops says

A Forum with a knowledge base.

Ticketing systems are awkward as users are used to responses taking longer than they should and they never have any indication as to whether or not the ticket has even been read.

At least with a forum, a user gets the impression that their question is in the open and can be replied to by not just the theme developer but by other helpful users.

708 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold more than $1M on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $1M+ on Envato Market and is now a Power Elite Author
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
+5 more
Dream-Theme says

A Forum with a knowledge base.

Ticketing systems are awkward as users are used to responses taking longer than they should and they never have any indication as to whether or not the ticket has even been read.

At least with a forum, a user gets the impression that their question is in the open and can be replied to by not just the theme developer but by other helpful users.

Thanks! Is that the only reason? (I’m asking because, in our current helpdesk software people are receiving answers via emails (and keeping conversation via emails))

549 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has sold $1,000+ on Envato Market
  • Won a Most Wanted contest
  • Has been a beta tester for an Envato feature
+4 more
kriskorn says

I have a little bit different opinion, based on my observation. Because many buyers do not even read documentation, then I wouldn’t recommend a forum. Even if the question has been answered before, they do not have the time or do not want to search the forum to get the answer. My English isn’t that good to put my full thoughts here, but customers want to be kings and when they need a quick answer, then a ticketing system is great. This way you are dealing with them personally and most of them appreciate it, when you do it quickly.

I hope my paragraph makes some sense…
Kris

353 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 5 years
  • Has collected 100+ items on Envato Market
  • Located in United Kingdom
kops says


A Forum with a knowledge base.

Ticketing systems are awkward as users are used to responses taking longer than they should and they never have any indication as to whether or not the ticket has even been read.

At least with a forum, a user gets the impression that their question is in the open and can be replied to by not just the theme developer but by other helpful users.
Thanks! Is that the only reason? (I’m asking because, in our current helpdesk software people are receiving answers via emails (and keeping conversation via emails))

Well the issue with a ticketing system is that the answers are not public and users only have access to what you perceive to be important enough to add to a knowledge base.

With a forum at least everything is out there.

Ideally, product support would be handled here at envato but since the powers that be decided that a search function is not necessary for a 120-page comments section on an item, then a forum, for me, is the next best thing.

The worst thing you could do is what a few authors have done and that is reply to each request for support with ‘Check your Email’, then adding nothing to the FAQs. That gives me Envato-rage >:|

1479 posts
  • Has referred 50+ members
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has been a beta tester for an Envato feature
  • Has collected 100+ items on Envato Market
+5 more
Anps says

The problem with supporting on comments here is that many authors have paid supporters and they can’t give there accounts to them and a lot of questions are send via portfolio contact form which sends on authors mail, so it’s bound to the one author.

Forums are cool but they are a night mare to manage, since people post all sorts of “trash” and if you do not want the forum to get crowded you have to moderate, warn people, clean, ban etc. and that is so much work with big sellers here.

Mails are also a problem. Until you get to the “bigger game” its ok. But once you get like a gazilion mails, you just get lost, mail are overlooked, its harder to track your customers etc.

So ticketing system is the only way to actually stay on track, have orderly system and that more people than one can successfully manage.

Anyway I am not that experienced on themeforest yet and do not have that much support but I worked in companies that served 200 000 users and spent millions on supporting systems and in the end everything goes to some kind of ticket/ wait your order way otherwise it gets impossible to track and the satisfaction builds up.

Just my opinion ;)

Cheers

632 posts
  • Has referred 50+ members
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has been a beta tester for an Envato feature
  • Has collected 100+ items on Envato Market
+6 more
UBLThemes says

I am in the middle of creating a ticketing system which has a knowledge base within it, I would have a forum also but with not having a huge client base at the moment i do not see fit for this.

In my personal opinion, i would do all of them. This way the user is always happy, because they can give a support ticket, look in the knowledge base and post questions to the public.

158 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 5 years
  • Has referred 50+ members
  • Has sold $1,000+ on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
+1 more
greenshady says

I’ve been running a theme support site since 2008 (one of the original WordPress theme clubs) and like forums the best.

The biggest advantage is that users will help one another. Half of my support is done by other users. There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning to check support questions and seeing that many of them have already been answered.

Forums are also a natural knowledge base because it takes out the guesswork of what things your users actually want to know. As you get more topics and posts, you have more “knowledge” already built up for users to use. This cuts back on support considerably. Of course, you’ll still get some users who don’t search for answers, but that’s going to happen with any type of system. At least with a forum, you can easily search and link to the appropriate topic with the answer yourself, creating a “web” of linked topics that will only strengthen your forums over time.

Forums give a sense of community. You get to know people and they get to know you on a more personal level. This can be extremely good for business.

Despite what many think, forums are not hard to manage. But, it’s all about your setup. You need to be organized. Completely public forums are a bit harder though, but I’m guessing no one here has a need for open forums since they’re running a commercial theme business.

The biggest thing you should do is make sure the forums are easy to use and cut back on the crap that’s not needed for support. You don’t really need a whole bunch of badges and other bells-and-whistles. Keep it simple. Users are there for support and not much else.

- a support forums (pros: transparent, searchable; cons: harder to provide individual support);

You can very easily provide individual support via forums. I’ve never had any issues to the contrary.

329 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Has collected 100+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
+1 more
CLINE123 says

I agree with kops- a forum with knowledge base. As a regular buyer I prefer not to send support tickets unless I absolutely need to. I usually scan through the theme comments on TF but it’s a pain if there are many pages. Forums are helpful to me as 80% of the time I find my answer there in just a quick search. I can’t speak for buyers who fail to read documentation as I do that first, then re-read if I encounter a problem, then search the comments or forum and finally, as a last resort, open up a support ticket or email the author.

492 posts
  • Has referred 1000+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
+8 more
pixelentity says

+1 for support forum. Some buyers (not many) don’t like that extra registration step so we opted for public read only access. That alone saved us countless hours of work per week compared to when we used mail to handle support.

by
by
by
by
by
by