As im typing this, we are edging closer and closer to a pretty big milestone here at TommusRhodus HQ, we will soon have a whopping 20000 tickets answered on our dedicated support area. Iv personally been in charge of handling support for a few years now and although I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at how many of these iv personally dealt with between my head and TR head honcho Tom Rhodes – helping so many users with a whole range of problems has taught me some truly valuable lessons. This post highlights a few things id like to share from my experience in providing the highest quality support I can.
Cheap Hosting often leads to Expensive Headaches
Whilst WordPress does not need much to get started in terms of server performance, it does have some minimum requirements which will only increase as your site grows so using an ultra-budget host simply does not work if your looking for a smooth experiencing when working with WP (regardless of theme).
I’ve written about this before but from a support perspective, when I see a user reporting random outages when trying to setup a theme/plugin, in 99% of cases the cause of the issue is the hosts memory limitations which mean WP cant do its thing. Thankfully, once iv taken the time to fully explain the issue (as well as offering advice on increasing memory limits etc) most users see sense and move to a reputable service, but if your reading this and considering starting your own WordPress based site – take heed!
Customers Love a Speedy, Concise Reply
One thing I take a huge amount of pride in, is the speed and accuracy I employ whenever a ticket comes in, and oh boy is this something our customers simply adore – see this screenshot of a users response from just a few moments ago
Now I know its not possible to provide speed-of-light support 24 hours a day as we all have to sleep, but if you in a customer facing role and want to delight your users, provide clear advice in a timely manner goes a long way – want more proof? See what our users say for yourself.
Do not be afraid to ask for details.
In some cases, when a user reports a bug or issue, its not uncommon for them to not leave a URL or other pertinent information. This of course makes it rather difficult to advise making support impossible. The solution? Just ask!
Given the end goal of support is to leave the user satisfied and happy, making it clear to your customer why you need details such as a URL/logins always yields the info you need, so dont be afraid to ask – just be sure to explain the reasoning behind it so everyone understand we all want to reach the same result and resolve any issue 100%.
A Change of Perspective can help
If you work with WPs daily, or in any web design related field, it can be easy to assume everyone you encounter has a basic working knowledge of things you take for granted – this can be understand how WP works, what CSS is and so on. The key to providing quality support is to always treat each client on an individual basis.
This basically means if a user is reaching out to your for help, try to interpret their use of language and the type of question and respond accordingly. For example if a user is asking about changing the styling for a specific element, they may not know how to use their browsers developer tools to create custom css, so be specific in your reply and provide the code as needed, rather than simply supplying a CSS selector.
Always be courteous
Id like to think that this doesn’t need to be said, but im sure we have all dealt with a less than savoury representative when asking for help in our day to day lives and whilst it is only human nature to have off days, this should not be apparent to any one you personally deal with.
Even if a user has become rather frustrated by the time they reach us, I always make a point to appease any annoyances and respond in nothing but a polite, friendly tone. In almost all cases, even the angriest client can be turned around with the right attitude and more crucially, a genuinely helpful response.
Helping over 20,000 users make there perfect website had been a real pleasure and has helped is hone our craft and mould our themes into something our clients love, but we dont rest on our laurels, we cant wait to see what the next 20,000 users can teach us and help us grow even more.