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JeffreyWay says

Hey guys,

Just a moment ago, I emailed “epicera” through his profile page. I immediately received a very smart auto-response about supplying support for his themes. I was very impressed by this and thought I’d pass it on to you guys – just in case you wanted to implement something similar yourselves. (I hope he doesn’t mind me pasting it in. :)

Here it is…

Here are some notes regarding all support requests:

I will do my utmost best to respond to your email within the next few days, but please take a few things into account:

As one of the leading authors on ThemeForest, I get a lot of emails regarding my products ranging from general questions to customization requests. I’m just one guy though, so short of cloning myself, the more email I get, the more time it takes to respond. In the past I’ve done my absolute best to respond to everyone within 24 hours, but the volume of mail can be so high that it’s just not possible at times.

Here are a few steps that you’ll want to take if I don’t get back to you right away:

1) Refer back to the documentation when possible. This includes the product help file, as well as links to third party documentation that I provide with each product (for plugins, wordpress, etc). I can’t promise that the answer to your question will be there, but I spend a lot of time writing those documents, and there’s a good chance the answer might be there.

2) There are a lot of resources out there on the big wide internet, and there’s bound to be an article that might give you some help quicker than I can get to your email.

3) If you do solve the problem yourself, let me know simply by responding to this message! It means that I can spend more time on other support requests.

Please also keep in mind that, as an author, I’m not actually required to offer support – in fact, the ThemeForest policy states explicitly that each item is sold “as-is”, and that authors are not bound by any agreement to answer emails at all. I happen to do so because I feel that it’s just good business (and I like helping out the community), but just keep in mind that I’m doing so out of my own free time, and that there’s a limit to how much I can do in some cases.

Thanks again for the email (and for reading my support response). In the future I’ll have trained robots answering all of my support requests immediately, until then, please be patient. I’ll be getting back to you as quickly as possible.

Cheers!

Excellent work, Brandon! This is part of the reason why you’re one of our best.

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Ivor Envato team says

Awesome, that’s why he is a great seller. The support is really important to get more clients, thanks for share Jeffrey.

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JimmyP says

Very good idea! I assume he’s got a custom email address just for TF then?

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Ivor Envato team says
Very good idea! I assume he’s got a custom email address just for TF then?

I think so, Jeffrey used his profile page… Very cool idea :)

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JeffreyWay says

That’s what I’m guessing. Actually – that has to be the case. :)

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jonathan01 says

But wouldn’t responding to this email as instructed if you fix the issue just get you another of these? :)

Would actually like to see product support pages per product in the new design to be honest – then the micro-community of that file may be able to help each other as well.

Just a thought :)

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MDNW says
Very good idea! I assume he’s got a custom email address just for TF then?

Yep – I actually implemented this second address & instant response a few weeks ago as a means of filtering my ThemeForest related email from my normal freelance email as I was about to go on a rock-climbing trip and wanted to make sure any buyers knew that I hadn’t fallen off the earth (unless of course, I did fall of the earth during the trip, which would have been awkward). I then tied the two accounts together so I have one inbox, but I can quickly sort between the two destination addresses when I’m conducting support sessions.

Obviously, this is also the best way to send a support response only out to emails that come from Envato – rather than sending out the message to everyone who messages me at my main account.

Honestly, I’d love to take the credit for this highly efficient (and simple) method of filtering out email and responding to support requests, but the credit this time goes to my fiance’, who in all of her wisdom got annoyed with me when she saw that I hadn’t already thought of this. :)

Thanks for the shoutout too Jeffrey – I hope other authors can find this sort of thing useful.

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MDNW says
But wouldn’t responding to this email as instructed if you fix the issue just get you another of these? :)

Would actually like to see product support pages per product in the new design to be honest – then the micro-community of that file may be able to help each other as well.

Just a thought :)

Using Gmail, these auto-responders go out only once to any given user every 4 days – as 99% of all requests are closed within that time frame, this is a non-issue. For users who do get the message twice, well, that’s a small price to pay for a little bit of clarity and helping users understand that I’m not their 24/7 support machine, but that I will do my best to help them out.

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MarkBrodhuber Envato team says

Good idea Epicera!

Everyone, on a side note, gmail filters are great! I used to have a separate email for VH, but got tired of managing two. I just have one now, but filter it so any mail coming from any of the marketplace’s gets tagged and archived. I then clear the tag when I respond. It keeps things organized and out of my inbox, but also makes it easy to see who I have to write back to. Just another approach.

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MDNW says
Good idea Epicera! Everyone, on a side note, gmail filters are great! I used to have a separate email for VH, but got tired of managing two. I just have one now, but filter it so any mail coming from any of the marketplace’s gets tagged and archived. I then clear the tag when I respond. It keeps things organized and out of my inbox, but also makes it easy to see who I have to write back to. Just another approach.

Agreed! I tried this out too, and I actually use filters in Gmail to track issues on individual products when there are lots of similar questions, but keeping this maintained can be tough when you’re answering 20+ messages at at time and the messages aren’t all coming directly from the marketplace form.

Basically, whatever system you pick as an author to manage buyer feedback (and that’s if you choose to offer support at all) has gotta be individually catered to what makes the most sense for you. If you only get one email a week, you probably don’t need any custom solution beyond an inbox and a few minutes a week to reply. If you’re getting 100+ emails a week, it’s probably worth spending a few extra hours on finding a system that will help make you more efficient.

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