How To Best Use the WooThemes Support Resources

Written by Mark Forrester on August 16, 2013 Blog.

At WooThemes, we believe that customer support is key. We want to provide you with an awesome support experience because great products are useless without great customer service. Our mantra is to put customers first.

With that in mind, we want to make sure that you know about all of the customer support tools that you have at your disposal and we want to show you how to use them. This post will serve as a guide to our various (and awesome, of course!) support resources.

Docs

maria-docmeisterThe backbone of any support system begins with the documentation. With the docs, we aim to provide comprehensive user manuals that contain the ins and outs of our different themes and plugins.

Maria Scarpello is our resident docmeister ninja — she works on docs every day, making sure that they are updated.

In April, we completely overhauled our documentation system, and we think that the result has better served you, our users. Here are three of the things that we are excited about:

  • Clearly labeled keys to distinguish between docs intended for developers and docs intended for end-users.
  • Easy-to-find links to docs from various parts of our website.
  • Smart search so that you can find keywords in the documentation. You can even refine your results by choosing – from a drop-down box on the right – what parts of the documentation to search within.
Quickly find your theme documentation.
Quickly find your theme documentation.

Even without searching, finding the right sections of documentation has never been easier. We organize it so that you can easily find every theme, extension, and plugin. We even have sub indexing within our various categories.

A breakdown of all the product documentation available.
A breakdown of all the product documentation available.

To make learning more about your theme or other product even easier, we include a list of related links on the left side of your screen. And to make sure that you are completely up to date on what is going on with a product, we include a link to the change log as well.

A detailed product document.
A detailed product document.

Finally, we acknowledge that however useful this resource may be, there might still be improvements we could make. That’s why we include options for feedback on the upper-right hand side of your screen. There, you can tell us if you found a doc useful or not, and you can also report any problems or issues.

We're always wanting to improve!
We’re always wanting to improve!

Support FAQs

FAQs are a staple of the web, but there is a reason for that: they work!

We have tried to compile a list of the most frequently asked questions that we get from our users, and we hope that it helps to serve your needs. Before opening a support ticket, we recommend that you check the support FAQs to see if we have already answered your question. If so, that will help you save a lot of valuable time.

Our FAQs are broken down into five major areas: questions addressing installation, general stuff, styling & customization, WooCommerce, and the WooThemes dashboard.

Video Tutorials

You might be more of a visual learner, and if that’s the case, we haven’t forgotten about you – our video tutorials are there to make sure that you have solid visual explanations for just about everything related to WooThemes. Even if you prefer other means of getting your information, we hope that these videos will be helpful to you as you use our products.

We’ve tried to make using them as simple as possible – just head over to the videos page, find a video that talks about what you need to know, and click on it. We offer videos on everything from WooThemes instructions to WordPress basics.

If you ever have any requests for new video tutorials, we would love to hear from you. Just let us know what you would like to see, and we’ll see if we can make it a reality. Our community manager, Ryan, is responsible for creating, improving, and maintaining our video tutorials.

Interested in our videos? Start with An Introduction to WooThemes.

Help Desk

Our help desk is the core of our support system, available only to paying WooThemes customers. If docs, FAQs, and video tutorials are not enough to help you out, we hope that the resources available to you at the help desk can solve your problem.

Search our extensive knowledgebase for your answer.
Search our extensive knowledgebase for your answer.

The help desk has three major offerings, each of which we will explain in a bit more depth: the knowledge base, the community forum, and the option to submit a ticket.

Knowledge Base

The knowledge base is a smart search function that should streamline the process of looking for solutions to your issue.

Chances are, your question has already been asked and answered by someone else – so why wait around for our support team to answer it again when you could go straight for it with a quick and easy search? We provide the knowledge base as an option for you so that you can efficiently find your needed answers, save your valuable time, and keep on going with your projects.

An intuitive auto-complete search facility.
An intuitive auto-complete search facility.

It is intuitive: just type in your question and hit ‘search.’ Then, our system will bring up a list of relevant pages that hopefully have the information you requested.

Community Forum

In the interests of building a community of like-minded users that can help each other out, we offer you the option of engaging with other users on our community forum.

We encourage our community members to help each other using our dedicated forums.
We encourage our community members to help each other using our dedicated forums.

Our community forum contains a specific section for discussing each one of our different themes. Just scroll down until you see the theme you need help with, and then click on it to open up the sub-forum.

Once there, you have two options. First, you can read the threads already open to see what other people are dealing with. You will also be able to leave comments contributing to the conversation. Second, you can start your own article to either share tips you have learned or ask questions to our community.

One thing that you should note is that the forum is 100% community driven – it is intended solely for discussions between users, and as such, the forum is not moderated by WooThemes staff.

Submit a Ticket

If you are not able to easily find solutions to your support issues using our other resources, then we are more than happy to help you out via our support ticket system. Here, you can get one-on-one assistance aimed at solving your problem as quickly as possible.

First, we will prompt you to choose what type of problem you are having: an account issue, a themes issue, or a problem with WooCommerce and its extensions specifically.

Help us help you.
Help us help you.

Once you have answered that, we will immediately give you a form to fill out with the details of the problem that you are faced with. You will be able to give your support ticket a subject title and choose what category your issue falls into.

We’ll also ask for a lot of other information at this stage, too.

Submit a support ticket for our ninjas to help you.
Submit a support ticket for our ninjas to help you.

Don’t worry – we only ask about so many things because we want to ensure that you receive quick, to-the-point service. The more information we have about your technical or account issues, the faster it will be to resolve them – the info we get at this stage acts as a huge time saver during the troubleshooting process.

One part that some users may be uncomfortable with is our request for login details. We strongly recommend that you think about including a temporary site administrator username and password in the ‘description’ section. We understand if this makes you uncomfortable, and you of course have the option to not do so. However, if you provide us with that information, it could greatly reduce the time it takes to solve your issue. Often times, users don’t have the technical knowledge to explain or convey their issue. That’s totally okay, but providing this access will allow our team to quickly diagnose the problem and begin to correct it.

Overall Improvements

We make every effort to serve you as best as we can – but we’ll be the first to admit that we are not perfect. Recent growth has challenged our resources and we have sometimes struggled to meet customer expectations in the past few months.

But we are making headway and we have results to show for it. We have made some improvements to docs, hired some awesome new support ninjas, and worked internally to increase efficiency. Such efforts have led to noticeable improvements in our response times and satisfaction ratings.

In July, we had some great new statistics. The average amount of time a customer waits for our first response to their support ticket hit 33.4 hours – a drop of 7.9 hours! Another awesome number is 54 percent: that’s how many support tickets were responded to within 24 hours, which is a 14% uptick!

Here at WooThemes, we work every day to ensure that you have the best customer service and support possible. We want to stay honest with you, which is why we keep publishing monthly customer happiness reports, and we want to make sure that you can effectively use all of our different support resources.

Hopefully, this article gives you a better idea of what support resources we offer and how to best use them. Our mantra remains the same as it always has – customers first.

This fantastic guest post was crafted by Tom Ewer.
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26 Responses

  1. Leokoo
    August 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Thanks Tom. Just wondering. Like many, though I’ve 40 over extensions with WooCommerce, there were some I wanted to pickup before the new pricing structure came in place. As such, wouldn’t it have been better to allow all old Woothemes customers a grace period of 1-2 weeks to pickup the extensions we needed?

    Or perhaps enable it now for those pre-August 1st customers for a week or so for products released before August the 1st?

    Appreciate your feedback =)

    • Mark Forrester
      August 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Hi Leokoo,

      Unfortunately we can’t do that, and I doubt you’d find that offer available at any physical stores? We’re trying to be as accomodating and appreciative of our existing customer base as possible, but our new product tier prices are final and help afford our sustainability plans and the capacities to innovate and improve our offerings.

      Feel free to email me personally to discuss further, but please understand we’ll have to take a stricter stance on keeping comments on track with the blog post topic.

  2. moriz71
    August 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    I am not at all too unhappy about your support (and I do appreciate all the effort) but I make a few exceptions.

    The search in Knowledge base… well… it sucks. It’s not so much the results that suck, but the search experience.

    Let’s say I am searching for ‘breadcrumbs’. I enter the text, and indeed, a nice Ajax thingy supplies me with some choices and submission results in a list. However, if I click any result and it is not what I need and I use the Back Button, I have to start all over again! Going back does NOT show me the list of previous results but i again have to type in ‘breadcrumbs’ and get the same first set of results. ANNOYING!

    Also, the Knowledge base contains many links to older blog entries that no longer exist. So when I finally find what I think may be my salvation… 503.

    OK, while I am bitching: I hate the new prices. Just because they are now higher. Never a happy thing.
    But I do feel you dealt with the whole lash back admirably. Kudos. Could everyone please stop using each new blog entry to bitch about it. Cheers.

    • Warren Holmes
      August 16, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

      We’ll definitely look at improving that experience, thanks for the feedback 🙂

      • moriz71
        August 19, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        Make me proud…

  3. csfalcao
    August 17, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    I’m sad with woo support. I have the clear feeling that Woo ninjas’ main goal is to close the tickets as fast as possible, not solve your issue. Not the customer, but reports.
    I had wonderful support experience with DreamHost (not good uptime though), WPEngine and A Small Orange (hosting). Apple has a surprised positively me almost every contact. Even Google called me to apologize for a Goole Drive for business’ error.
    But Woo themes support is lacking. I understand all the investment in KB, documentation and such, and agree thats its good, but the old forums had one thing that the actual woo hasn’t: a community. People interacting. It’s sad.

    • Magnus Jepson
      August 17, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      The old forums did not have people interacting on posts, in fact it wasn’t possible to post in other peoples posts, as most of the time people just asked new questions which made the support experience even worse.

      Our main goal is never to close the ticket as fast as possible, as we always set our tickets to “pending” which allows you to reply to the ticket if you need more help.

  4. allmyhoney
    August 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Something to fix here guys, when a user fills out a ticket and forgets to checkout one of the required fields like this one “Are WooCommerce, all extensions, and Theme up to date?” then the ticket completes and says sorry “you did not complete Are WooCommerce, all extensions, and Theme up to date?” and actually wipes the ticket and you need to start again – massively frustrating and a massive waste of time – so can you please build in some simple messaging and highlighting into the forms so the user can simply complete any fields that are required if they miss something and the ticket is not wiped out! each week the fields seem to change so its not something we can really get used to as users. Hopefully you can fix this soon. Cheers

    • daileycon
      August 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      +1 this is really annoying. I spent 5 min writing up a feature request but forgot to check I had read the documentation and it all get erased!

    • Michael Krapf
      August 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      We’ll definitely work on improving this issue.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  5. webjump
    August 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    What do you think about having a community shared Video training resource, where we can all share videos on best practice and how to… tips. I’d love to make some videos to share, and I’d really like some videos how to use Woocommerce and extensions. Sometimes your documentation is a bit sucky and a bit complex. The worst I’ve encountered are:

    Table Rate Shipping
    Variation Swatches and Photos

    I paid a lot for these, and they are way to difficult to grasp.

    Anyway, I always find video tutorials really help so maybe a Woothemes Vimeo or YouTube channel???

  6. George
    August 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    I’ve had to raise two tickets with WooThemes since becoming a member 3 months ago and can honestly say that the help in resolving them was 1st class.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    George

    • Michael Krapf
      August 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks for the positive feedback George.

  7. Kevin43
    August 19, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    Glad to see woo is continuing to focus on support. Two areas for improvement:

    when you ask us for login information for our site and then list that info in the ticket listing on your site, doesnt that pose a fairly big security risk for users? The login info is left out in the open and can easily be scanned.

    There should be a more secure way of sharing such information.

    Also, it does seem like support is trying to close tickets quickly, and end up making a 2-3 email exchange on a ticket turn into 5-6 just because they didnt slow down and try to fully understand what the problem is. This is not always the case, but I submit a ticket anticipating this will happen, no matter how well I craft my problem description, at least 1/2 the time.

    • Michael Krapf
      August 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks for the input Kevin.

      We actually recommend – http://support.woothemes.com/entries/24788117-How-to-create-a-new-administrator-account-in-WordPress – that you create a temporary admin account for us that can be deleted after the ticket is resolved.

      In an attempt to make support more efficient, we’ve increased the complexity of the the ticket submission form.

      Though this might seem counter intuitive, we were noticing that days were added to the full resolution time in diagnosis and information gathering.

      By getting as much info as possible up front, we’ve been able to reduce the time it takes to solve a ticket.

  8. farrel
    August 20, 2013 at 3:02 am #

    How do we report a problem with creating a help ticket when the system we need to create the ticket doesn’t allow us to create a help ticket?

    All I get is this message: Remote authentication failed: User is invalid: Email: has already been taken.

    Try again
    Log out of WooThemes
    Return to WooThemes dashboard

    Trying again gives me the same result. Logging out and logging back in gives me the same result. Returning to the WooThemes dashboard doesn’t help either because I’m no closer to opening a ticket than I was before.

    • farrel
      August 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      Ok, well I must be SOL then because I can’t open a ticket to complain about not being able to open a ticket, and I get no response here either.

  9. caseyfriday
    August 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    All in all, I’ve been relatively unhappy with the support resources for WooThemes. I’ve been using Woo products almost since I started my web development business, but lately I’m finding that I need products with more reliable support to ensure that I deliver to my clients as quickly as possible.

    The support forums are atrocious, with regard to organization. If they were run with vBulletin or another software that is made for forums, the experience would be exponentially better. As another commenter mentioned earlier, most of the time when I actually find an answer to my questions, it’s in the form of “It’s been answered already, click here.” And then the link goes to nowhere (301 error).

    I obviously believe WooThemes are a quality product, since I’ve been using them (and paying for a developer membership) for over 2 years now, but I’m testing the waters with a competitor, and if the support scene doesn’t improve, I’ll be completely switching.

    • Michael Krapf
      August 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Hey Casey,

      We don’t provide support in the Community Forum. It’s a place for the community to share and discuss.

      That said, we are currently working to make the community forum better and more active. We’ve not yet decided on any particulars, but would love to get your input.

      Submit your input HERE.

  10. farrel
    August 21, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    I don’t get it either. They create a blog post saying how important customer services is, but when we complain about support-related issues we just get ignored.

  11. Leatherman
    August 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Much as I love WooThemes’ products, themes and especially WooCommerce and its capabilities, I have to echo some of the sentiments here and raise an issue of my own.

    I try really hard to avoid submitting a support ticket but sometimes it’s unavoidable. However, when it happens it’s often obvious that the support staff have not read the ticket properly, or one takes over an open ticket from another and doesn’t read the history, wasting their time and mine in asking for information that I have already provided.

    Often the fields in the support form do not work properly, or do not apply to my request but are mandatory – very annoying.

    But worst of all is my current unresolved ticket, which is now a month old, which could be an indication of a problem that could be costing WooThemes thousands of dollars.

    For the last two months I have not been charged for my WooThemes subscription, despite repeated attempts to pay – but I can’t pay unless you invoice me or attempt to take a payment.

    I could shut up and say nothing but I believe in supporting those whose services you use – but how many more are not being charged in this way? Hundreds? Thousands? You have just put your prices up and removed lifetime support for financial reasons, yet you are not taking subscriptions! It’s ridiculous.

    Yet I have taken time out again and again to try to get this issue solved but your support staff seem totally disinterested. Once I came back to the support ticket to find the support ticket had been closed and the issue had been marked as solved! Not by me!

    This ticket – #78172 – has so far been back and forth nine times with the last update nearly two weeks ago. Still not resolved.

    And while I’m at it I would like to be able to pay monthly by recurring payment but we changed our bank account last December and I am unable to change the card details, so payment fails every month.

    I have been told the only way to change would be to set up a new WooThemes account but when I point out that I would lose my licences already paid for – and would have to pay more monthly, and may have to pay the joining fee again I just get: That’s all we can do. It’s not good enough.

    As I said I am a big fan of WooThemes, its products and its ethos and I really don’t want to be a moaner (I have much better things to do) but this is getting very, very frustrating indeed. It makes all this talk of caring about customer services, never mind the viability of your business, nothing more than hot air.

    Can someone please look into this properly, or do you just not care?

    • Warren Holmes
      August 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      Hey Patrick

      We absolutely do care 🙂 As I mentioned to you on the ticket you have open, we’re walking with our host on getting the issue resolved. As soon as we’ve fixed it I will update you.

  12. abhishek
    September 7, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    i think you should try again
    Log out of WooThemes
    Return to WooThemes dashboard

  13. WNCcreative
    October 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    why do you offer a free plugin “WooCommerce” but do not allow access to the forum to get help. Your documentation on images is not enough to answer my question. I have spent hours reading your documentation and trying to find an answer. Sure we be nice to read if others are experiencing the same problems and how they fixed it. The image on my product page is HUGE. I have done everything your docs say to and still the same problem. Even the thumbnails are big. Why again is there no access to the forum unless I buy a product I do not need?

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