another point .. maybe it is easy for you to provide free customizations since you still have a small portfolio. But with 30 support tickets a day, from which 10% are customizations request, i would have no time to do anything else than this..
Good idea is take a fee for customizations and hire someone to do custom work for ThemeForest customers and take e.g. 30% of earrings, but on the other hand if that person would do his job poorly… there’s big probability that customer will give poor rating on ThemeForest.
I do 75% of all customization requests that come my way and then farm the rest out to a network of devs that requested freelance work on my themes “http://freelancers.mdnw.net” (no, I don’t take a commission, that’d be silly) – I also answer almost always within 1 business day and have an overwhelmingly positive attitude during support because I appreciate my customers and want to treat them right… shocker though, we still have 4 stars overall.
All it really takes is a couple haters per month to tank that rating… the issue with ratings here is the issue with lots of ratings online; the people that come back to rate aren’t the ones that are happy with the products (this isn’t like Amazon or NewEgg where users come back daily and are reminded to leave ratings)... The people who leave ratings here are generally the people that got frustrated with the products for one reason or another… and because we’re not selling easy-bake cake recipe’s, that tends to be a lot of people.
Also. I appreciate the OP initial tips, but clearly he hasn’t really considered what fielding 100’s of customization requests a day does to a business. It’s an outstanding practice for new authors and one that I followed for years, but once you start getting up there in sales, it becomes nigh unmanageable and you find yourself not working on themes any longer… instead, you’re spending 10 hours a day customizing your buyer’s sites for them for free. I do my best to help everyone out that comes through our forum’s doors with reasonable customization requests, but sometimes that’s just not practical when buyers want you to literally re-configure an entire site for them for free.
Thanks Brandon, I consider this a friendly warning against what could end up being accurately labeled “shooting my self in the foot”.
Appreciate the explanation!
If i sounded too harsh in my previous posts .. i usually answer CSS questions or quick JS/PHP answers.. But nothing that would take me more than 1-2min to resolve..
i usually answer CSS questions or quick JS/PHP answers.. But nothing that would take me more than 1-2min to resolve..
Sometimes all it takes is some simple instructions as most buyers are capable of making simple changes themselves.
For anything complicated, most buyers are more willing to pay for customizations. Sometimes they can’t afford the work, but more often than not they completely understand that you don’t work for free.
So the people who expect free work are a small minority of overall buyers. Yeah they can ruin your rating, but these people are usually impossible to please anyway.
As a relatively new author who has also strived to maintain 5 star ratings this is something I’m constantly considering. I think it really comes down to finding a good balance between agreeing to every customer’s requests and using common sense. I genuinely enjoy helping customers and giving them modification advice because often times I learn something new along the way. However there have been times when I probably have spent more time than I should have for something I really didn’t need to be providing support for.
Our sales are starting to increase and with that has come more support. I think its important to clearly spell out the level of support you are willing to offer so that customers know roughly what to expect. There are always going to be people that expect everything to be done for them yesterday, and in those situations its probably best to politely decline and if they give your item a 1 star rating so be it. If you treat your customers the way you want to be treated and go the extra mile every once and a while (within reason) your customers will give you high ratings and they will outshine those occasional 1 star ratings.
Thats what we’ve been doing and its working for us so far. Just my two cents If I could offer one word of advice though: start a support forum. It will help keep your support organized, customers who are having similar issues will sometimes find their answer without having to ask, and its a great selling point for people who are considering buying your items.