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In the last few years, WordPress has become the most popular CMS platform, on which 23% of all published websites are built.
With this level of popularity, the number of businesses within the WordPress ecosystem continues to grow and we are seeing plenty of WordPress Premium product providers.
Many of these companies are top quality providers with a large number of people that use their products or services (themes, plugins, hosting etc.).
Why is Customer Support So Important?
Customer support represents the most important link between a company and its users because it’s where they come into direct contact with each other.
Customers need someone to help them solve issues. They are struggling for help in a river of technical issues or confusion, and customer support is the bridge that helps them get safely to the other side where they feel happy and satisfied with your product.
Smart companies that realize the importance of keeping customers’ happiness at a high level, and who care about their customers, are looking to employ the best candidates for support positions.
They are right to do this. Providing top quality customer support makes the difference in whether customers have a positive or negative perception of your company.
In fact, providing quality customer support is a powerful marketing tool for your company. Satisfied users will recommend your services and will spread a positive vibe about your brand. Upset users will, on the other hand, perpetuate a negative image about your services, which could be difficult to repair.
When looking for great WordPress Support Specialists, here are a few habits and characteristics that companies should not only look for, but should actively encourage and invest in for their support staff.
Knowledge & Education
Although it’s not necessary to be fully fledged programmer, it’s very important to have an understanding of the technical fundamentals of how the product works, whether it’s a theme or a plugin, in addition to understanding how WordPress works.
The more that a support specialist can understand about HTML5/CSS/JS, PHP/MySQL, Server Administration etc. the easier it will be for them to solve problems.
So an emphasis on ongoing learning and education is necessary. The support specialist should be willing to continue expanding their knowledge and the company should be willing to invest in that education by allowing their employee the time to do this.
Here at WP Rocket, support engineers are encouraged to read, to request books that will be educational and to take online courses in PHP etc to improve our knowledge. This ultimately will improve the quality of support.
To assist in the educational process, the developers of the product will have to make themselves available to answer questions and assist where necessary. Again, we are lucky at WP Rocket that all the developers are very available, even though we work remotely and always willing to explain how things work.
I mentioned that quality support is the bridge between a company’s product and its users.
A great support specialist is able to explain complicated technical terminology to non-technical people. Good communication will save time on both sides, and having someone on the team who is able to communicate on both technical and non-technical levels easily will raise productivity to a higher level.
Conveying a positive attitude in solving complicated problems through communication with users is something that will make customers happy.
Good support engineers always have in mind that their approach will affect a user’s perception of company, and in order to create a positive impage , they will maintain a high level of communication.
Problem Solving, Not Ticket Solving
We use HelpScout as ticket system at WP Rocket. But we do not solve tickets. We solve problems.
We communicate with users as humans – not ticket numbers – who expect us to resolve their issues.
Whenever we receive more than one report of an issue or question, we create a new documentation post in our Knowledge Base that explains how to solve this issue.
We believe in providing educational information for our customers so that they can find their own solutions if they choose, and so that they can develop a better understanding of how our plugin works. When responding to tickets we always take the time to explain to our customers how we resolved the issue. Education = empowerment.
This approach keeps our customers happy and it also allows us to be efficient with our time. By having a lot of documentation that we can refer customers to, we ensure that we provide consistent information and make less mistakes.
Productivity is not just about responding to tickets quickly, but providing high quality answers that address the heart of the problem and provide the needed information. The quicker we can get the customer the info they need, the happier they are.
Great support specialists are focused on truly addressing a customer’s issues, not just trying to close the ticket.
Crisis Management Skills
Of course, there are situations when it’s not so easy to find a solution.
It’s important to keep communicating and to be honest in crisis situations. I have spotted one bad characteristic of support staff in my career: ignorance. Tickets stay unanswered for a long time, because you are not sure how to solve the issue. This is bad!
Users will always (or at least in most cases) appreciate your honesty. So, if you need to ask for an additional explanation of their issue, don’t hesitate to do that. If you are not sure how to solve it, ask the developers in your team. Do anything that will lead to the resolution of the issue, just don’t ignore it.
Having top quality customer support these days is a must, especially if you want to maintain a good reputation for your product in the community. That means there is a lot of space for people who would like to focus on this niche inside the WordPress ecosystem.
Being a WordPress Support Specialist is a rewarding job, especially if you like to help people.
Would you like to share your opinion or experience with us? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.