I think a service free to customers but where authors pay a modest monthly fee (which would go toward paying the support techs) might be something I’d be interested in. As long as the support folks are vetted and are professional enough, I think that might be worthwhile.
Thats interesting, so you woud basically redirect your customers to an “experts” live chat area and pay for the time he spends in chat?I guess the general idea behind it was that it would be a marketplace for live support. A similar concept to http://clarity.fm/ but for IT/Developers.
Well, I was thinking more of a flat rate of maybe $100/month that the author would pay.
The issue with having the customer pay is that I don’t think they should have to pay for basic support if there is a legitimate issue. Not to mention the issue of Themeforest possibly taking a hit if customers knew the only way they could get support is if they had to pay.
I suggested that the authors pay since I imagine some elite authors already pay support techs to help out, but if we’re talking about one large support site, the cost could be shared easier where each author would theoretically pay less than if they hired someone part time to handle support for them.Obviously I haven’t thoroughly thought any of this through so I could be completely wrong here, but right now, I think i’d take advantage of a service where I can offload my support to a trusted site for a reasonable monthly fee.
The only problem with a monthly fee is there is no way to judge how much time one support person will spend on a particular problem. If it was based on time spent it would scale according to how much support each author needs.
Disregarding theme authors for a minute and looking at the bigger picture. What type of person would look for real-time support? They could find the answer on google, but it might take them a lot longer to resolve.
I think an expert forum with live chat would be fantastic. But I also think that general easy to solve issues should remain free. A pay by the minute thing would be good but you would have to put some kind of limit on it in order for customers to want to pay for it. If you deal in volume then the prices can be set low. Don’t think of it as a job, think of it as an expert sitting around bored and then logs into the site. If a customer happens by and needs a little assistance, maybe he can buy 5 minutes of my time for 5 bucks. But just chatting and asking question can be free. A voice program would be great for that. Like Team Speak if you have ever used that program. A bunch of people logged into a room and talking about their items or issues.
Our customers are always asking me custom work on our theme. Every time we update the theme old modifications are conflict. That’s weird and then we are no longer making any customization work.
If this service is online that must be something like training but tutsplus are closing i think only the way is theme is must be well documented and only improving questions from buyers that will be allowed.
That’s just my only opinion.
Do you have something like this in mind ? https://codeable.io/
Yep similar to that but much more community based.
It seems like there is some interest for both the authors and the customers needing support. It would be great to get the Envato community involved. If you are an author interested in referring customers, or you are a customer who would be interested in real-time support, send me an email via my profile.
Would anyone be interested in following the development via a new thread? We are currently part of an Australian incubator so it will be a fun journey. If there is interest I can post new progress every couple of days.