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Customer Happiness Report (February 2013)

Written by Ryan Ray on March 1, 2013 News.

As promised, we’re back for our customer happiness report for the month of February. We had some fantastic numbers from January, our first response times were well under our stated goals (outside of a small percentage of tickets), and we had a 91% satisfaction rating for all tickets. So, with that, let’s see how we compared.

Since February only has 28 days, our total ticket to days ratio will be a bit skewed this month. Some other internal wild cards that have affected our stats include: surgery, wisdom teeth, holiday leave, internal reorganization, and training. Although our team has grown over the last year, the loss of just one member can be felt throughout.

Customer Happiness in Numbers

Looking at the numbers:

  • 9,870 new tickets created this month.
  • 20.3 hours to First Response (the amount of time the average customer waits for our first response).
  • 24% of all tickets are responded to within 8 hours; and
  • 92% satisfaction rating on all tickets.
Average Hours to First Reply

Our response times have increased, but we’ve also taken in roughly 1,100 more tickets as compared to January. This increase in tickets combined with decrease in days has had the greatest impact on our first response times. While we’re still doing well inside our 12-24 hour commitment, the tickets that have waited 24 or more hours rose by 12%. Compared to last month, February has seen a 12% increase for first response times greater than 24 hours. While this statistic is a bit unsettling, it’s enabled us to identify a problem and formulate a solution.

Diving Deeper

Let’s compare the numbers between our support channels.

Comparison Between Our Channels

We’ve seen an increase in first response times across the board and the chart above gives a breakdown of these numbers (weekends included). Even so, our global satisfaction rating remained steady at 92% showing that the quality of our replies hasn’t been affected by the increased load.

In addition to answering support tickets we’ve spent some time this month on internal reorganization, product improvement and training as a way to improve our support infrastructures. A few of us from both Accounts and Support were working on revamping our new Documentation Portal. Lot’s of time and effort went into designing, editing, and polishing the new portal. We hope the changes make your experience much more efficient and enjoyable.

Our WooCommerce team has been busy prepping for 2.0. It’s imperative that we are ready to offer support for the new version once it’s released. This involves internal training, extension audits, and document rewrites. Though it doesn’t show in our numbers, we’ve been very busy working behind the scenes.

Benchmarking & Context

Benchmarking Our Performance

The benchmarking metric backs up what we already know. Our first response numbers have suffered this month. We’ve leveled out with the industry standard and that just isn’t good enough. On the bright side, our satisfaction rating has increased by one percent compared to the industry average.

Time For Action

This is only our second Customer Happiness Report, but we’re already beginning to learn from the data. In studying our support channel metrics, we can determine when the ticket traffic is busiest and adjust our workflows accordingly. Based on this month’s data our goals are as follows:

  • Bring the majority of our first response times across the board back into our stated and expected time frame.
  • Look at our Support Channel metrics to see where the influx of tickets, comparatively, came from and address that cause.
  • Continue to figure out how to address weekend tickets.
First Response Times

As always our goal is to deliver happiness. This is most definitely our entire team’s motto, but especially relevant to our support team and these metrics. We’re always hard at work making that statement ring true, I hope to report back next month with improved numbers and no metrics slipping any further!


31 Responses

  1. willcookson
    March 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I do agree that your support times are great and your support is great. Great that you are also making these figures public – kudos to you all.

    One thing I wonder if you have thought about is differentiating between the speed of the answer and the answer itself. So, I filled in one response saying I wasn’t satisfied – not because of the speed and understanding of the problem (i.e. the support staff) but because the answer they had to give was one I wasn’t satisfied with (and imho seemed crazy!).

    So, overall I’m very happy with your support but I would like to differentiate between the support and the answer, if that makes sense!

    But overall – thank you for the speed and quality of the response.

    • Michael Krapf
      March 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

      Yes, we look at unsatisfied responses and try turn them into teachable moments and appreciate when a customer takes the time to explain the reason behind the bad feedback.

      Thanks for your input 🙂

  2. Estella Vidal
    March 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    This is why I tell everyone about you guys 😉

  3. michaelstrauss1
    March 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Seems like great numbers, except if your in the 8%! I have had the same issue going on for months with no resolve! Your multiple shipping plugin does not work with UPS at all…

    • Michael Krapf
      March 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      HI Michael,

      I saw your ticket and it appears that the issue has been identified and will be resolved next week. Thank you for your patience.

      Please note that we just rewrote UPS from the ground up in January – – and are working very hard to make sure it’s compatible with everything!

      • michaelstrauss1
        March 1, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

        Thank you Michael! I have really been looking forward to using the plugin!

  4. mgudhka
    March 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    The number of tickets is a really good indicator. It can mean three things:

    1. You have way too many customers using your products.
    2. Your products are not well built and many user’s are experiencing problems.
    3. A combination of both 1 and 2 above.

    • Maria
      March 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

      It could also mean 3 other things:

      1. We can never have too many customers, possibly not enough Ninjas.
      2. Perhaps our documentation could be better, we help a wide range of customers from beginners to experts, not all are problems, most are ‘how do I do this?’
      3. Most of the time when you only look at the numbers it doesn’t tell the whole story! 🙂

      • staehrmedia
        March 3, 2013 at 10:36 am #

        I find your documentation lacking, yes in most cases it gives you the information needed to set things up, but at times fails to cover things as detailed as I’d like or need. I’m looking for products that work well out of the box, but still offer lots of room for customization and extensibility. A tall order for sure, but sometimes I feel like your products make us support dependant.

        • Ryan Ray
          March 6, 2013 at 3:57 am #

          We can’t write documentation to cover doing customizations, we approach our docs from the stand point of explaining exactly how our product is intended to work.

          We do try to add on this with knowledgebase posts on how to customize things, but docs are only for how to use and setup our products as intended.

        • BlogKing
          March 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

          me too. I would like a complete reference to a theme not just a hilight reel. In Canvas there are many options which are not documented. I bought Canvas for the options. But the documentation is from ver 1 now version 5. One of the reasons to buy from Woo is support and documentation. If the doc were more complete I could understand the options up front instead of trying to guess. That would result in less support messages.

  5. tonyalexander
    March 2, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    It can mean 4 things – you left out:

    4. WooThemes and the WooFramework are so solid the average customer does not have the need to submit a support request – and do not even factor into your happiness metrics!

  6. dotp
    March 2, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    I don’t think people realize the amazing support Woo provides for their customers. Have you ever tried to get support from Adobe or Microsoft for one of their products? And didn’t have to pay extra for support? Those companies are huge with massive revenue streams and cash reserves and Woo’s support blows them all away. I have my gripes from time to time about Woo, but support isn’t one of them…ever.

    • Ryan Ray
      March 6, 2013 at 3:58 am #

      Always appreciate your input and feedback on everything we do here!

      It is definitely our community members like you and the collective feedback that drives us to keep getting better.

  7. Shatteredtruth
    March 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Just started using one of your themes.
    Solid Product and you can tell you guys pay attention to the finer details.
    Everything works great and better than expected !

    • Ryan Ray
      March 6, 2013 at 4:07 am #

      So glad to hear this, thank you very much for the kind words!

  8. Johnny
    March 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm #


    It’s nice to see all this data on your customer support and the progress you’ve made since Q4 of the last year. It’s definitely going in the right direction! As mentioned above, you beat bigger companies in the quality of customer support big time. And that’s actually proved tactic to get an advantage over existing giants. Hope when you grow, you won’t turn evil as well 🙂 And speaking about growth – are you planning to expand your team anytime soon?


  9. Gaslight
    March 8, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    I congratulate you for your results. Unfortunately I must going to be one of the few cases to bring down your average score for the time to close a ticket. I’ve been a supporter and user of WooCommerce since late 2011 and have purchased, ever since, licenses for many extensions. I never really used much customer support (I’ve created I think only 4 tickets since 2011), but it’s only recently that I’ve posed a question for a technical problem I couldn’t fix myself or by looking at the documentation. The ticket has been open for 12 days now (#18774) and so far the questions/answers given have not produced much progress. The question concerned the management of tabs (removing tabs, adding new ones) – quite basic in fact. I was suggested some code snippet which for some reason is not working, I’ve reported the error encountered, but we’re still stuck there. I was suggested as an option to buy the Tab Manager plugin, which I did and it’s useful I don’t regret that, but in the end I’m still stuck with my problem. Basically I’m stuck where I was 12 days ago. I’ve been using other commercial plugins (Gravity Forms, WPML) and the response time not only has been faster always, but eventually I could have come up to a solution in a much quicker way. With Gravity Forms I get answers from the actual devs and these answers end up in the support forum, readable by others too. Furthermore, you had increased the cost of your licenses justifying the spike because support was going to cost more than what you were earning. Fair enough, I understand the problems of business scalability. That didn’t stop me buying a few more extensions or keep using WooCommerce. However, I start being a bit worried after this, still ongoing experience. I’m positive that my problem will be, eventually, solved. But suppose someday I open a new ticket and it’s going to be again like this, while I’m in the middle of a more urgent problem to solve, how should I explain to a client to wait for 12-15 days? The statistics published in this post mention that it takes the average of 1 day to produce a first response. But are there any statistics that tell how fast a ticket is definitely closed on average? Anyway, I do hope you improve the support management (I kinda like how GravityForms handles it) and provide more tutorials and documentation online (when I searched “add tab” the first result that came up was the “tab manager” extension, not something more relevant to tabs).

    • dontforgetmario
      March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      ¿12 days? That’s really not acceptable. I’m already waiting for 24 hours and for me that’s already a loooooong time.

      What I don’t see either in this report is how Woo compares itself to other companies.

      My average in respect to the support I get from other customers I use productos from:

      37 signals average time to get an answer = 15 min

      (this guys have millions of customers and never excuse themselves on what I read here from Woo)

      InvisionPower Suite IPB average answer time = 1 hour (the guys are good)

      Expression Engine average answer time = 1 hour over forum, never needed to open a ticket with them, their community is amazing.

      Themefuse average answer time = 20 min

      Kriese Themes average answer time = 1 or 2 hours with answers straight to the point and really helpful guys.

      Freshbooks average answer time = faaast this company has 5 millions customers

      Graphic converter got answers direct from developer the next day what is amazing for such a small team.

      Woo average answer time = 24-48 hours?

      Company growing should never be an excuse for slow support, 24-48h average time is inexcusable it does not matter how you look at it. Similar size companies with many many more customers show it can be made much much much faster.

      At the beginning the issue was the forum was not good, then you go with help desk system with no forum an absolut wrong very very very very wrong desition, then you go again with a Zendesk mixed support ticket forum… where you say you do not moderate the forum?

      OK, you do not moderate the forum and it takes 48 hours to answer a ticket? Hello????

      I’m the only one here who seems to see this is not a support oriented company?

      Anyway… I like your products and I keep on with you guys, but support should be a MAJOR MAJOR Priority for you in a BIG WAY and not just some nice statistics in your Blog showing it is horrible slow but you know it and we feel all relief that you also know it… Great… What’s next?

      • Gaslight
        March 8, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

        To avoid misunderstandings: the first response came within 24hr and the answer was satisfactory – however it didn’t work out. Since then it’s been short messages boucing back and forth without much progress. My ticket is still open after 12 days (tomorrow is saturday and I’ve reason to believe might still open on Monday, that’ll make day #15).

      • Ryan Ray
        March 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

        While not knowing how the other companies work at all, the majority of our team here is strictly for support.

        I’m not even sure how you can say our focus isn’t on support when we plainly and clearly publish our numbers SPECIFICALLY showing where we are failing and want to get better. Surely we don’t need to publish a happiness report if we don’t care about support. We’re owning up, in plain English, to areas where we’ve let our users down.

        Even with that said, our co-founders and the entire team will jump into support when help is needed. You may or may not find that at every company either.

        You also ignore the fact that each companies product is COMPLETELY different. From our perspective, we are helping people setup complete sites, ecommerce shops, and even go as far as to provide customizations on special occasions. We’ve thus set our goals appropriately, it’s not comparable to companies that offer completely different products or services.

        As Gaslight has said, he didn’t wait 12 days for a response. Just that the ticket has gone on for 12 days. Here our fault is that our responses have not been helpful, and it’s something we will own up to. No excuses for it.

  10. dontforgetmario
    March 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    I personally find the Zendesk forum a pain in the ass… one of the most user unfriendly forums i’ve seen. I don’t feel to get inside and help other customers. Something in the Vanilla, Invisionpower or Xenforo style would be much more practical and user friendly experience.

    But that’s me, maybe others find it great. Maybe as helpdesk is ok… but as forum is really terrible.

    Right now I’m one of those on the 24 hours reply zone and still waiting for my ticket to get assigned Zzzzzzzzzzz

    • Gaslight
      March 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      I agree, I never liked Zendesk.

      Ideally, I would like a support forum where I’m able to search and go through other people tickets and staff answers. Eventually one could make some discussions/posts/tickets private when sensible data is published.

    • dontforgetmario
      March 9, 2013 at 3:39 am #

      My Ticket still not answered…. 32 hours and counting….Zzzzzzzzzzz If they would have a proper forum probably I could have solved it already with a strong community… but Woo know better has us shown that they do not have much interest to build a strong community… since they do not even moderate the community…

      But no community no fun…. so wait and wait… and wait… and wait…

      • dontforgetmario
        March 12, 2013 at 4:07 am #

        80 hours later and my ticket was still not answered although it was assigned to someone some 40 hours ago asking me for an admin account to my website. But I don’t know what for, because he did not even used it yet.

        I find this is really a pooooor service. And I would be amazed to be the only one suffering this situation.

        Guys this is really not funny.

        • dontforgetmario
          March 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

          6 days later and still not a replay…. it does not matter if I write this here or I send them emails…. not a single answer… not a real community to ask… what a joke to call this article “Customer Happiness”…

  11. eugeniusgenius
    March 8, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    hi there, I’m having an issue and I don’t know where to write it down so I can get support.

    It bugs me when WooDojo Tabs scrolls down whenever you click on the sidebar tabs. Is there a way to deactivate that function, not to scroll down?

  12. shwn
    March 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I miss the days when tech support offered here went a bit beyond the norm, now I get nothing but canned responses so I have totally given up on sending in tickets, which of course is only better for you guys.

    For instance, I noticed that the woosidebars plugin does NOT have the ability to create new sidebars on a per language basis for multilingual sites. I can create a bar that only shows up on certain pages, posts, categories, you name it, but not different languages….

    Seems like a glaring omission and in years past, I would have gotten an attaboy for finding that weakness. Not to mention, odds are it would have been fixed within a cycle.

    Fast forward to today and what do we get?
    I cannot edit the WooSidebars plugin to accomplish this for you as it wouldn’t be covered bny our support policy for me to do so.

    My… how far we have come…. nuff said

  13. khunjohn
    March 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    What is happening here?

    I just installed your City Guide “upgrade” and I am still reeling. You replaced your entire Street View system with a free word plugin that hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. ‘

    Tell me this is a joke please. Answer my ticket!

  14. ABDpromotions
    April 23, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Felt like I had to add this.

    My tickets are always answered within 24 hours. The responses are always insightful and helpful. Perhaps it might be how the questions are asked.

    We love the WooNinjas!

    If you need professional help with your WooThemes site feel free to look us up. As an Affiliated Woo Worker we have our own ninja skills. Take a look at our Woo company profile: