271 posts The Dominant One
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wptitans says

We’re dropping the support forums from next week on, just not our thing.

A personal taste i guess. So we decided to go more in to the customer interaction and spend a few bucks along the road. We’re prepping a Zendesk environment for our buyers, a place from where we are able to put everything in one place without losing grip.

With over 1300 customers we need to get organized and trust me we’ve looked in to this for several months and zendesk came out the best for us.

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Dream-Theme says

With over 1300 customers we need to get organized and trust me we’ve looked in to this for several months and zendesk came out the best for us.

I understand you perfectly well: our support engineer is on vacation. And I’ve almost gone mad seeing 100+ tickets (gathered from Friday) in our help desk today morning.

The issue is 50% of requests are questions answered over and over again: some buyers ignores the manual; some do not know what is CHMOD (and do not want to google it), etc. 30% are customization requests. Both are potential 1-star-rating if you do not treat them well :) I thought fact of forums publicity can restrain people from asking such questions… I suppose I was wrong?

271 posts The Dominant One
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wptitans says

70% of the customers simply won’t check or use the search functions and therefore you have to answer the same questions over and over.

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Dream-Theme says

And what about “people helping each other” stuff. Is it a myth? I’ve noticed that people are not very helpful even in forums of our plutonium-paw+ fellow-authors :) ...

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Dream-Theme says

70% of the customers simply won’t check or use the search functions and therefore you have to answer the same questions over and over.

sweet…

1004 posts It's in the pipeline!
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purethemes 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.

You are, sir a perfect buyer! :)

I use ticket system currently, but I’m planing to switch to forum, and I can confirm that 70% of buyer don’t even read documentation, they want straight answer for their question, no matter if it was andwered 3 times before on the same comments page..

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greenshady says

I think people are naturally helpful to one another if they have an environment that is conducive to that. Forums are a great way to provide that sense of community. It took more than a year for my forums to really get to that point though. You really have to put in the work in the beginning to foster that community’s growth.

If your users are not helpful to one another, I’d say it’s either a reflection of the environment or that your community still hasn’t grown enough yet.

I literally have no support staff (it’s just me) to run a forum. If I take a week’s vacation, I depend on the community members to help each other.

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CodeSwift says

I think people are naturally helpful to one another if they have an environment that is conducive to that. Forums are a great way to provide that sense of community. It took more than a year for my forums to really get to that point though. You really have to put in the work in the beginning to foster that community’s growth.

If your users are not helpful to one another, I’d say it’s either a reflection of the environment or that your community still hasn’t grown enough yet.

I literally have no support staff (it’s just me) to run a forum. If I take a week’s vacation, I depend on the community members to help each other.

What’s the percentage of the members that actually help others? I bet it’s somewhere around 0.1%

Give them an incentive and it’ll jump to 10%. For example tokens which can be exchanged for themes. For every 5th contributed issue resolution they get a token, with 10 tokens they can buy a theme.

Tokens would be given automatically based on rating of a post or maybe a winning answer chosen by the author of the person who posted the issue.

Short time after implementation of the system the community will be handling most of the support.

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bitfade says

And what about “people helping each other” stuff. Is it a myth?
according to our experience, it’s a myth
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CodeSwift says

70% of the customers simply won’t check or use the search functions and therefore you have to answer the same questions over and over.

There’s a solution for that.

After submission of a support request, the system checks for related already existing topics and if none is found it continues to processing, but if there is at least one found it’ll go to another page with links to those topics and bellow them a confirm button which continues with the processing and creates the new topic.

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