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  1. #1

    Question Level of support

    Getting bombarded by some clients requesting help. Normally, I just fix the issue but some questions are starting to turn from hosting support to WordPress support? While we can handle just about anything I want to make sure we get paid for non related hosting stuff.

    How do you all handle level of support? What support for your clients do you offer for free and what is paid support?

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Level of support

    I have the same issue with a few clients, but it depend on the situation. I will provide a lot more free support to a $100/month client over a $1.50/month client.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    349

    Re: Level of support

    We get alot of script based support, for most things its a 2 minute fix that we just get on with to go above and beyond. However you do occasionally get clients that think its your line of duty to create them a website, continuously fix bugs with their scripts, don't understand why you can't transfer their Moonfruit website etc. That's where we draw the line and charge on an adhoc basis it just totally depends!
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  4. #4

    Re: Level of support

    Yeah, this client is just a 10 dollar shared client. I've done a lot for her but now I'm done. The recent issue she had is her theme provider said to remove a line of code and it broke everything. She also had permissions issue. I had no problem with the permissions issue because I just login as her and reset them but the other issue I had to track down though the logs to figure it out.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    349

    Re: Level of support

    Is the customer grateful for the help or do they expect it? Personally id charge for any other modifications - your her webhost not her Web designer.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas
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    If it's simple things like creating a php.ini file or database connection it's all fine just let them know development falls outside the scope of support. You'd be happy to help with any service issues but when it goes into detail with mods or programming issues maybe just google the problem for them and point them to the article about the issue.

  7. #7

    Re: Level of support

    I don't mind doing the work for them as paid support on those issues. We also do website design and development so it's not a big issue. Just trying to figure out what is the best approach to say this is free this is paid.
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  8. #8

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthHosts View Post
    Is the customer grateful for the help or do they expect it? Personally id charge for any other modifications - your her webhost not her Web designer.
    Yes she is thankful it's just got to the point where she breaks it and I have to fix it.



    Quote Originally Posted by TremorHost View Post
    If it's simple things like creating a php.ini file or database connection it's all fine just let them know development falls outside the scope of support. You'd be happy to help with any service issues but when it goes into detail with mods or programming issues maybe just google the problem for them and point them to the article about the issue.
    Yeah, I guess I could go that route just provide with link for the error and let them fix it or pay for extended support and have us do it.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    349

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by larishosting View Post
    Yes she is thankful it's just got to the point where she breaks it and I have to fix it.





    Yeah, I guess I could go that route just provide with link for the error and let them fix it or pay for extended support and have us do it.
    That would be the best option in my opinion, otherwise it may just be expected of you
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  10. #10

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthHosts View Post
    That would be the best option in my opinion, otherwise it may just be expected of you
    Thanks for your help and suggestions.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by larishosting View Post
    or pay for extended support and have us do it.
    I agree with this as well, and in many cases, they will gladly pay to get back up and running again....as long as you know how to fix it. Also, some theme developers will do the fix for the customer since they did pay for the theme.

  12. #12

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    I agree with this as well, and in many cases, they will gladly pay to get back up and running again....as long as you know how to fix it. Also, some theme developers will do the fix for the customer since they did pay for the theme.
    Yeah, I have told customers to contact their theme developer before too.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    55
    Quote Originally Posted by larishosting View Post
    I don't mind doing the work for them as paid support on those issues. We also do website design and development so it's not a big issue. Just trying to figure out what is the best approach to say this is free this is paid.
    Is your website clear enough on drawing such lines? Maybe improving descriptions would help prevent this. Or a Welcome email could state it etc.

    I'm thinking maybe even doing a sequence of emails (like an autoresponder series) with say 3 emails send in 3 days, sending information about support and usage of host/websites:

    First email - Welcome email
    Second email - Resources about hosting (sending links to vids on how to use hosting and pointing out important things)
    Third email - Website maintenance Resources (sending links to Youtube vids about Wordpress from someone else not you, etc).

    Maybe this could be a good way to make it easier!

  14. #14
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    Sales are easy , support is not Deal with it. In the web hosting (may be all services related businesses) customer service is really important.
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  15. #15

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by WebHostDog View Post
    Sales are easy , support is not Deal with it. In the web hosting (may be all services related businesses) customer service is really important.
    I agree, I just want to draw the line of what is free and what is not. Don't want customers expected free coding
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  16. #16
    Be sure your terms of service are clear, and then have a candid conversation with your customer. Most customers will start out looking for all the 'free' support they can get, but are quite understanding that they are not paying you to debug others code. Particularly if you can explain to them that the problem is from the code in the theme that they just updated, and they should really be getting support from the theme developer in that instance -- they will likely understand that. However, be reasonable and set some rule of thumb. Eg, if you can fix their problem in under 10 minutes, then you'd be happy to help them out even though it goes well above and beyond your posted terms of service. Anything beyond that and they'll either need to pay your posted support rates or get support from the developer.. Chances are very good that they will still be grateful for your offer of free support services but it will get into their learned behaviour that if their developer introduced a bug, their developer is the one that they should contact.

  17. #17

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by datarealm View Post
    Be sure your terms of service are clear, and then have a candid conversation with your customer. Most customers will start out looking for all the 'free' support they can get, but are quite understanding that they are not paying you to debug others code. Particularly if you can explain to them that the problem is from the code in the theme that they just updated, and they should really be getting support from the theme developer in that instance -- they will likely understand that. However, be reasonable and set some rule of thumb. Eg, if you can fix their problem in under 10 minutes, then you'd be happy to help them out even though it goes well above and beyond your posted terms of service. Anything beyond that and they'll either need to pay your posted support rates or get support from the developer.. Chances are very good that they will still be grateful for your offer of free support services but it will get into their learned behaviour that if their developer introduced a bug, their developer is the one that they should contact.
    Yeah, I don't mind doing the quick fixes it's when someone takes an hour or more.
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  18. #18

    Re: Level of support

    Quote Originally Posted by larishosting View Post
    Getting bombarded by some clients requesting help. Normally, I just fix the issue but some questions are starting to turn from hosting support to WordPress support? While we can handle just about anything I want to make sure we get paid for non related hosting stuff.

    How do you all handle level of support? What support for your clients do you offer for free and what is paid support?

    Thanks for your help!
    I'm working as a support engineer for Web hosting company across the globe for the past 3 years.

    Normally for codin issues I will let the customer know that "our support is limited to debug the coding issues. You need to contact the developer to fix the third party coding issues".

    There are few customers who don't have a developer and they will be expecting our valuable solution. For such customers I will inform him that "Im trying to solve the issue out of the limited support procedures. It will take some time to fix the issues apart from regular issues. Kindly hold on for further updates".

    This is one such way you can get enough time to solve the coding issues if you want, else define your support system limits by adding it in the signature section.

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    Last edited by writespeak; 10-08-2013 at 11:14 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    South Florida
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    We sometimes run into the same problem because we do website design / development and hosting. We have an unwritten rule that we will usually help someone for free if the fix is less than 15 minutes. We further qualify that by saying if one customer asks for quick little fixes on a regular basis then we will let them know and suggest they batch out the work and pay us. For the most part we rarely have a problem but you always have to be up front and let them know that you are doing something as a Free as a Courtesy for hosting with you. This way they do not expect it to be free if it happens again.
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  20. #20
    Generally, when using such a service, people rush into it a little and this is why such misunderstandings about the level of support continue to happen. What can we do from the position of web hosts?

    Well for starters make sure that you clearly explain your products and services on your website. Provide any information about features and extras that can be purchased in the package. If the customer is on chat/phone, make sure to understand their project, identify their needs and explain exactly what YOU can do for HIM.

    Even if the customer signs, unsure of what level of support they should expect, they will probably need it pretty soon. Once contacted via phone/chat/ticket, take your time to identify the issue and see if its within the scope of services you provide. For the purpose of the story, lets say you are a Hosting provider only. So if the customer issue is hosting related, of course try to provide the best support. If its outside the scope, lets say a development issue of some sort, make sure to give the client information and explanation so they can understand WHY is it a development issue and HOW are the problems clasified basically. At this point, still try to be helpful and try to find some helpful tutorials or articles that may prove to be an extra help and that should be it. Further requests, if possible for you to meet them, should have its price and the customer would be aware of that (even if it takes 3-4 different cases for them to understand ).

    So its really a case of proper communication from both sides. There are the occassional oddballs, who will not get what you are trying to make clear, but these tips generally work, tested and applied numerous times
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