Providing Effective Long-Term Customer Support for WordPress Users

Providing Effective Long-Term Customer Support for WordPress Users

Supporting your community of users isn’t the sexiest topic this week at WordPress Camp NYC, but providing great support can make or break your business. Mason James supports WordPress plugin users at WPMU Dev and runs WP Valet supporting individual WordPress sites. He manages supporting tens of thousands of users with a seven person support team. Support is the MOST Important Issue for Web Services! The code you’ve created is a commodity. It’s the quality of your support that will keep your clients coming back (and paying you). Why Provide Support? If you don’t care about your users and your community, call someone who does to support your clients. Long-term customers and community equals long-term revenue. Publicly available forums and FAQs are extremely valuable content to convince search engines and new users to visit you (and then sign up). Creating a Community Welcome new members when they arrive. Send a welcome email. Send a friend request. Show them ways they can get more involved. Send a group request right away. Answer any questions in a timely fashion. Ask for frequent, regular feedback from your community. (Polls, customers surveys, contact form, social media.) Respond immediately and honestly when there is a problem. Be transparent and give a human apology. Creating Better Support Materials Use a variety of media types, some folks like videos while others like step-by-steps. Nobody likes reading big blocks of text, break it up with screen shots. The Best Tools for Great Community Support Support Forum Tools: bbPress and BuddyPress are the best free WordPress support forums. ZenDesk and GetSatisfaction are great paid options with ticketing systems. Buy common support topic content. For WordPress...
Data-focused App Development for the iPad Best Practices: A Kaplan Case Study

Data-focused App Development for the iPad Best Practices: A Kaplan Case Study

How can textbooks on the iPad revolutionize learning? Kaplan provides study guides and tutoring for standardized tests such as the SAT, LSAT, and GRE. Kaplan set out to digitize their study guides and found out that data on how your students read can revolutionize your product development. Maureen McMahon and Jeff Olson from Kaplan presented a case study in mobile content delivery and data-focused product development at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change Publishing Conference in New York City. Start With Studying Your Users Before digitizing their first book, the first step Kaplan took was to study their existing customers. They knew they were the leading publisher in the space but had to study if their customers wanted digital books. They surveyed their students on which tablet they owned or were planning to purchase. They also started an ethnographic study of how students were using Kaplan’s paper books. In talking to students about their studying habits and taking photos of how students highlighted the print, they discovered what students did with their books.  Why Students Liked Paper Books Need for tangibility & token of ownership: If it is physically in my life, I’m more likely to study. Make markings/highlights to sustain attention: Some students highlighted almost the entire book. Make markings as proof to self of completion: Even if they didn’t read it throughly, they liked to mark the sections they had read through. Keep markings as future study aid: Occasionally students would reference sections they’ve highlighted but much less often then Kaplan thought. Make visual memory of content on page: Some students with a visual memory needed the colored highlight to...
Marissa Mayer on Creativity From Constraints

Marissa Mayer on Creativity From Constraints

  Marissa Mayer (VP of Google Local/Maps/Localization) spoke at the MIT Sloan’s Women in Management Conference today. Known for being the first female engineer hired by Google in 1999, she spoke about how challenges at Google has shaped the advice she gives to others. “Passion is a Gender Neutralizing Force” Marissa says at Google she wasn’t treated like a women. She is just a Geek at Google and “Google is a great place to be a Geek.” What passion can bring together your team in a way that overshadows their differences? Find Your Rhythm You know you need to work hard to be successful but how do you do that for decades without burning out? Marissa’s philosophy is to find your own rhythm. Figure out what makes you resentful about working long hours and protect yourself from that. For example if you miss Sunday brunch with your family, you’ll resent staying late at work all week. As a supervisor, it’s your job to help protect your staff’s time for the thing they need most to keep working hard. We’re Not Producing Enough Computer Science Graduates Period We know that there aren’t enough female computer scientists but Marissa contends that we need to produce more engineers of any gender. 98% of Google engineers were exposed to computer science in high school or earlier. Personally I think we should teach programming starting in grade school. Do Things You’re Not Ready To Do Marissa’s career is filled with taking on projects that were larger than she was prepared for. If you’re only applying for jobs that you are 100% qualified for, how...
New Trend: Video Holiday Cards – Bergdorf Goodman Goes to the Dogs

New Trend: Video Holiday Cards – Bergdorf Goodman Goes to the Dogs

I received more video holiday cards than physical cards from businesses this year for the first time. Whether your business is trying to save trees or just preparing for the Postal Service to go out of business, a video holiday card might be right for you. Tips For Spreading Your Business Message with a Video Card Set a budget: Although a video card is cheap to send out through email, you can spend much more producing a video than printing paper cards. Make sure to set a budget and find a video director that can work within it. What’s the payoff?: The best holiday videos have a plot payoff for watching them. You know how the best commercials can make you want to cry in 30 seconds? Can you make your story pay off at the end? Watch Bergdorf Goodman’s longer holiday video for their heartfelt ending. Or check out LivePerson’s charity donation at the bottom of this entry. Keep it short: 30 seconds to 2 minutes is optimal Keep it agnostic: Unless you’re sure all your customers celebrate Christmas, it’s better to go for general Happy Holidays. Make it fun(ny) or unusual: If you want the video to be shared, make it fun or funny. On the unusual side, Tekserve’s most successful viral video featured $60,00 worth of recycled iPods. The delivery method is the most important part (and often overlooked): Once you have the perfect holiday video card, the most important part is getting it watched. Make sure you consider the timing of sending your video to recipients, the holidays get busy and any non-essential message gets trashed. Can you create a great...
Customer Surveying for Apple Specialists

Customer Surveying for Apple Specialists

Below is my deck from the Apple Specialist Conference in Miami, Florida. I presented “Two Quick Questions”, a seminar on using the Net Promoter Score to: Measure customer satisfaction, which directly links to profitability and customer retention Measure employee engagement, which directly links to customer engagement and referrals Praise employees for good experiences and source testimonials Diagnose knowledge and performance gaps Listen to the voice of your customer Find your “moments of truth” Customer Surveying for Apple Specialists Download this keynote presentation. View more presentations from Jazmin Hupp. Mentioned Resources Net Promoter Score official website and book My article on Best Practices to Responding to Yelp Reviews SurveyMonkey Important Review Sites to Monitor Yelp Google Places/Maps Apple Consultants Network Angie’s...