Getting bogged down with a high volume of support requests can be tough. Here’s how to streamline your support channels to ensure that doesn’t happen.
If you’re a solo WordPress entrepreneur, chances are that you don’t have the time nor patience to keep up with a hundred support requests per day.
Not only will a high volume of support tickets drain valuable time you could have used to build up your product and market your brand, but it also has the potential to leave you feeling burned out, frustrated, and enraged against all of humanity.
Well, maybe not that last one.
But high support requests, I assure you, do have their drawbacks. While it often is an indicator of your product’s growing popularity, there are better ways to measure your web presence than enlighten a bunch of ignorant customers all day, every day.
That’s why I’ve created this post — to help YOU decrease your support request volume, without affecting product popularity, performance, or profit.
Ready to get into it?
1. Build a Comprehensive Knowledge Base
Knowledge bases are becoming increasingly common features not only for WordPress products, but literally all technology products. Considering that building a knowledge base is a great way to streamline your customer support, its growing fashionableness is not surprising.
We’ve already written a detailed guide to creating a help center/knowledge base, so there’s no excuse for you to start building one. Like, starting yesterday.
Although the task of creating a help center sounds more than a little daunting, it really isn’t when you break it apart into simple steps:
- create tutorials on how to configure your theme/plugin — even a simple screencast can do the job
- discuss the solutions to common user mistakes — find out through your old support requests where your customers are messing up, and tell them how to fix the problem
- product-enhancing tweaks (for developer customers)
- update logs
And that is basically all there is to it. It shouldn’t take you longer than 2-3 days for a single product, and it will mean hours upon hours of saved time in the future.
2. Send out Regular Product Updates
WordPress is constantly evolving. As a WordPress product seller, that means your job includes making sure that your product is up-to-date and current with all of the CMS’s latest standards.
Never stop upgrading your product with new features, bug fixes, and simpler UIs. Making sure that your product won’t face compatibility issues with current versions of other simultaneously-run plugins will eliminate a lot of requests from your support channel.
3. Require Up-to-Date Product and WordPress Installations Before Support Requests
Of course, updating your product is one thing. Making sure that your customer downloads and installs the update is quite another.
Many support issues are due to customers using an old version of a product along with old version of WordPress. Often, the result is a little cocktail of compatibility issues (particularly if the user runs a multitude of various other plugins on their site) that are easily fixed with a simple product update.
On your contact/support page, simply request that all users install the latest version of the product & the latest version of WordPress before sending a support request
4. Make Your User Interface Newb-Friendly & Intuitive
As a blogger, I do a ton of plugin and theme reviews/collections for various sites. When judging the quality of a plugin, one of the main things I look at is the user interface of the product.
Is it outmoded, ugly, looking like it’s just been slapped together with no real though towards ease of use? (that’s a huge turn-off)
Or, is it modern, sleek, and designed with the end user in mind? Does it make the product a breeze to navigate and newbie-friendly? (that’s what I’m looking for)
Upgrade your UI and make it simpler for users to accomplish the function the product is meant to complete. A simpler UI eliminates a lot of those “so how do you do X” support tickets.
5. Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes
Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers.
Pretend as if you’ve just bought the product and you’re eagerly perusing through its interface to find out all it can do. Evaluate it, objectively.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds, isn’t it?
It’s hard to separate yourself from the many hours you’ve poured into your product and assess the functionality and usability of your from a totally unbiased perspective.
Nevertheless, it’s still necessary if you really want to discover all the flaws that are in your product’s UI. Once discovered, these flaws can be fixed to make the product easier to use for customers, resulting in less tickets.
What strategies do you employ at your WordPress business to streamline your customer support channel and decrease ticket requests?
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