in Editorial, Support

How To Get Good WordPress Support

A few months ago I wrote an article that got shared quite a bit – 3 months in WordPress customer service – mainly because it resonated with readers.

It talked about how to serve your customers better, giving them the support they not only need, but deserve.

Today though I would talk about WordPress support from the customer’s point of view, and how to actually receive good support, rather than give it. I’m going to pretty blunt and honest as I was in the other article. You’re not my customer here, just my reader, so I want to tell you the harsh truth.

Don’t be an asshole

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I mean, why would you? Do you think that’s going to help?

Let’s play the imagination game.

Imagine you’re at work. It’s been a long day. Your boss is giving you a hard time, the due work is piling up and you’re starting to see the white light. As you’re packing up and getting ready to go home, your phone rings.

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Shit. Who could that be? It’s 5 o’clock – going home time. You were so stoked to be within the shadows of freedom (and maybe a little bit of wine).

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It’s Jerry. Yeah, Jerry. He wants help setting up Photoshop on his computer.

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So you go over to Jerry’s place. He’s got a comfortable couch so you’re looking at the bright side – glass half full, that sort of thing. As soon as you get inside, Jerry doesn’t even ask how you are. He cuts straight to it.

So, are you going to fix it for me?

Whoa, Jerry! Calm down. I only just got here. I mean, you only just got there.

You take a seat on that comfortable couch and start looking into it.

Jerry still hasn’t offered you a drink yet. He hasn’t ask how your day has been either.

Come on! You’ve been here for 5 minutes already. Why haven’t you fixed my Photoshop yet? I need to start photoshopping animals onto my friend’s heads!

Wow. Look at that. Jerry is being a total asshole.

Don’t be like Jerry.

Exit the imagination game.

So, this is a little bit exaggerated, as when you’re talking to a support person, they’re being paid to support you. But even if Jerry was giving you a bit of money to help him out, would that have made his behaviour okay?

You’d literally just gotten there and he was pressuring you to fix it. After just a few minutes, Jerry was getting aggravated and spouting off reasons why he needed his problem fixed immediately.

Support people are human too

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It might not seem like it at times but people in support are human too. Sure, they use a lot of calculated, pre-written responses but it’s only because the reality is, whether or not you want to believe it, most problems are the same.

So, these pre-written responses actually help to get your problem solved faster. It can feel a little bit disheartening when you don’t get a hand-written, loving response from support but hopefully, they’re just trying to initially troubleshoot the issue and try figure out the main problem at hand.

Not everyone’s the same

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I know that my style of giving support suits a certain kinda person. In the same way, as a customer I don’t always match my designated support person. This leads to a bit of a delay in getting the problem resolved, but it’s cool, I have a trick.

Just ask to have someone else help you. Rather than fight with the specific support person you were given, just ask nicely to speak to someone else or their manager.

And just remember when all else fails:

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  1. Yep, totally agree. I think that when asking for support you need to keep in mind that you’re asking for something from someone. That can sound a bit stupid, but that’s the truth. You are asking something. And like in everyday life, when you ask something, do it well.

    The first thing I taught to my kids is to say “please” and “thank you”. I haven’t taught them to add “ASAP” or “right now” at the end of a sentence. You dig what I’m sayin’? 😉

    Furthermore, when you ask for help, just be polite, the more you’ll be, the more the support guy will be pleased to help you. Support people are there for you, they are paid for it, and they will do it. Just keep in mind that if there’s something on your site, it’s not their fault, but they are the ones that will solve your issues.

  2. Been providing WordPress support for a number of years at 30 cents a day. Find a price point that works for you and be sure to clarify up front what you can’t do.

    It’s really important that you clarify up front what support is and what support is not. For example, support is not redesigning the customer’s website, or configuring specialized plugins like caching plugins and the like (unless you’ve agreed to take on a more web design centric style of support– and in that case you need to charge more…).

    Because most of my customers are web designers, and I’m not in the business of competing with my customers, I specifically include a statement regarding those things I can’t assist with; because, well, they are web design related…

    A short statement at time of signup and reminders later in the service process generally prevent most misunderstandings.

  3. True words have been spoken! I was a Customer Support member before for a Joomla extension provider. In fact, there are mostly nice people and they have patience to wait for supporter. But there are also some people after just 10 seconds of waiting for the answer of their problem, turn caps lock on and like, yelling at me through his PC. Some even threatened me to post bad comment everywhere on that Joomla extension if I couldn’t help them to fix the problem within 1 hour.

    Jim is right with the sharing above. You really need to clarify up front what support is and what support is not on your website.

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