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simnor says

My experience and maybe some advice…

I find that a lot of my customers are very polite and I have a feeling it’s down to what I put on the homepage when they first arrive at the support forum, I wont link to it but this is a screenshot of it: http://d.pr/i/aYwt I outline everything clearly and then they have to scroll down the page to sign up/login etc. this means they cant miss it and as a result I don’t get many rude customers, I think if you make it clear that you’re a person not a team it helps and they then know that they have to treat you as such.

The only rudeness I get is in the comments and even then it’s very occasional, not enough to even worry about. I would ideally like to at some point see the ability for an author to put some text that overlays the comments field and the customer has to acknowledge they’ve read it before they can post a comment. If you tell someone that rudeness == no more support then they will not be rude, at the moment I don’t see anything that tells a customer what the appropriate way to comment is, the support tab does nothing to address it imo.

I was in the fortunate position that I started releasing themes when ThemeForest began, I then took 2 years out and came back a few months ago, because of my initial experience when it came down to support, I made sure that before I started releasing themes again I had the infrastructure, rules etc. all set up properly so that rudeness could be eradicated as it was the main reason I left a few years ago. Glad to be back now, no major issues with customers since my return :)

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VF says

1. Overly straight to the point
2. Not replying back to tickets
3. Message bombing
4. Attitude

Nice to see someone emphasizes these subtle and real obstacles of support. After some months or years of support experience, we will usually forget about these things and just start focusing on what can be done from our part instead of researching the psychology behind certain habits. But a little research is always a good move if possible.

I came to the conclusion that I can segregate 2 extreme ends of support requests. One is genuine, straightforward and may contain manners or rudeness in language – but sincere with what they asked that deserves answer from author. Another one comes with either rudeness or high level manners but zero research about issue and the issue have no connection with item or author – those are actually problematic from my pov.

Sometimes people become robotic not because of carelessness but due to reflection of our social framework. For example, a buyer might be initially doing support requests with all those humanly manners and words. But after some experience with support requests, they may see no much replies contain the same humanly answers and they may start feeling their words are overly built-up and needs to be reduced to nothing more than the request itself – as an help to the author. Now a different kind of author may see this as rude! The author can take this as either individual buyer’s characteristics or the reflection of trend.

Sometimes it wont stop there we often do a reflection of reflection of reflection! :D

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Parallelus says

Great post, and you’re right on the numbers with that breakdown. :)

For every one of the less than polite customers there are 10 times as many great, amazing and incredibly loyal customers who validate all the hard work and time put into the product.

Support is one of the hardest things to do, especially with the mental strain from repetitive criticism, but it can be one of the most rewarding too.

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Codestag says

Support is one of the hardest things to do, especially with the mental strain from repetitive criticism, but it can be one of the most rewarding too.

Exactly. I have to also agree that most of the customers are great, and the interaction is quite smooth. But sometimes it only takes one guy to drive you crazy… :/

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Codestag says

Sometimes it wont stop there we often do a reflection of reflection of reflection! :D

+1

3666 posts Ruben Bristian
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KrownThemes says

Exactly. I have to also agree that most of the customers are great, and the interaction is quite smooth. But sometimes it only takes one guy to drive you crazy… :/

And with each new week comes a new guy to do this :)

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Parallelus says


Exactly. I have to also agree that most of the customers are great, and the interaction is quite smooth. But sometimes it only takes one guy to drive you crazy… :/
And with each new week comes a new guy to do this :)

I tend to take my work very personally so the criticism also feels personal. I’m learning to disconnect myself from this but I’m sure everyone understands when I say, it only takes one harsh comment to ruin your day.

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egemenerd says

There’s also the type of questions that make me want to hang myself and they usually start with ‘Can I’ or ‘How do I’ or ‘How hard would adding XYZ functionality be’.

One more; “Is it possible to add/change XYZ functionality ” ...

What should I say? Of course everything is possible if you are a web developer, but you are not a web developer… So I think this means “write a custom code for me and make it possible” :)

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egemenerd says



Exactly. I have to also agree that most of the customers are great, and the interaction is quite smooth. But sometimes it only takes one guy to drive you crazy… :/
And with each new week comes a new guy to do this :)
I tend to take my work very personally so the criticism also feels personal. I’m learning to disconnect myself from this but I’m sure everyone understands when I say, it only takes one harsh comment to ruin your day.

Same here… :D

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Codestag says

I tend to take my work very personally so the criticism also feels personal. I’m learning to disconnect myself from this but I’m sure everyone understands when I say, it only takes one harsh comment to ruin your day.

yeah, here too… :/

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