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Introducing Satisfaction Ratings and Our Pledge To Better Understand Each & Every Customer

Posted on October 11 by in General News | 62 comments

Introducing Satisfaction Ratings and Our Pledge To Better Understand Each & Every Customer

Providing great technical support for our customers has always been a top priority at Elegant Themes. In fact, out of our 23 employees, 18 of them are dedicated to providing support in our forums. Managing a growing community of over 200,000 users, however, is a constant challenge. Problems within our support system can get lost in the noise of the 200,000 voices and their 1,267,841 questions (Yep, that’s a lot of info to take in!).

Identifying Problems

Our support team helps users solve problems with our themes, but how do we help to solve problems within the support system itself? If a customer is frustrated with how a certain ticket has been handled, then we need to know about it so that we can attempt to improve. To help with this goal, I have incorporated a simple solution with Customer Satisfaction Ratings. You will now notice that whenever you open a new ticket, there is a section at the bottom where you can rate your experience. If you are unhappy with our support, then simply click the sad face icon. You will be brought to a new page where you can let us know exactly what made your experience poor. These satisfaction reports get logged and read by me personally, or by our community manager, and the support techs involved are consulted about how they can improve.

satisfaction-ratings

Measuring Our Success

Satisfaction ratings do not affect the status of the ticket itself. What it does do, however, is give us data that we can use to better understand the health of our community, and we can then use that data to set goals for improvement. We take these stats and display them publicly on our new Satisfaction Statistics Page. We compare the number of tickets that were opened to the number of complaints to get a basic customer satisfaction rating. We also display the current number of open/unresolved tickets. Together, this gives us a visual display of the current pulse of our support system.

satisfaction-screenshot

Building A Strong Community

Community happiness is our main focus, and we will continue to strive to improve the ways that we interact with each other. Building this community and adapting to its growth has been a fun and challenging experience, and we are all excited to continue to build beautiful websites together for a long time to come.

62 Comments

  1. I’ll tell you the same thing I tell WooThemes.com; if you want to really know what your customers think; offer a “neither good nor bad” (or a shrug) middle option. Unless the support is terrible, most customers will will not say it’s bad; but that’s not helping you get a true reading of the quality of your support.

    If you get a lot of neither good nor bad, then you’ll know that you need to do better – before you have a bunch of dissatisfied customers…

    • Agreed. There are a number of times where I don’t want to leave a negative rating, but it’s not helpful either.

      I look forward to the rating system though. :-)

    • Agreed – simply good or bad is not granular enough to gauge what is really going on.
      Having said that, my experience has been good every time!

      Simon.

    • In a word – yup. All these comments are right on. Having a little more granularity in the response will serve you better. And it’s generally great support, so you’ll be catching those one-off moments where perhaps a certain style of problem is difficult to work with.

      • Professionally response with ratings or feedbacks are good for the businesses as well as it helps the customer’s to understand clearly that what actually is going on..
        Keep going on Elegant Team.

    • John,

      If Nick acts on your suggestion it would validate his mission to better understand his customers and build a stronger community.

      If he doesn’t….

      Either way, I’m anxious to see what he does.

      Thanks,
      Brandon

  2. Just incredible support ET!!! That’s why Elegant Themes is an leading name for WordPress theme development in the world. Great achievement Nick. Customer satisfaction chart of week and 24 hours in just unbelievable, Keep it up

  3. Great idea! Love that you are always improving.

  4. As usual, you’re providing A+ customer service. Thank you for being pro-active and caring about us…the end-user!!

    • Thanks Toni :)

  5. I am not happy-I subscribed to developer but not advanced enough to use it and can’t figure out how to cancel that part of my subscription. Can’t figure out how to write a support ticket. I have several of your themes I still trying to figure out. Guess I need some instruction. Thanks.

    • If you want a refund, you can just email us and request one:

      http://www.elegantthemes.com/contact.html

      To cancel your account, simply go to Account > Cancel Subscription after logging in. You can also send us an email and we can do it for you if you can’t seem to find the link:

      To open a ticket, you can click the “new topic” icon while browsing any of the support forums. For example, click Forum > Foxy > New Topic

  6. Don’t say as usual they always provide A+ customer service because that is just not always true. You must either work for them or have a friend that does. I have had many bad experiences. They seem to not help some people as well as they help others. Yes their product is A+ but their service is lacking sometimes.

    • Next time you have a problem, please open a complaint and let us know why you are unhappy. That is the point of this post, to learn more about your frustrations so that we can aim to fix them. I am sure that we will improve in time, and I am sorry if you had a bad experience in the past.

    • The Only thing I would say is that sometimes support staff answer questions to novice users in a rather technical or code driven way. Its fine to be technical or code driven, but it needs thorough, accurate explanation, otherwise it will not benefit many users who stumble across that information in the future.
      I would reply to forum questions & posts in the most basic way so the information is available to everyone, not just the web site developers.
      I really love going on to the forums & I find them very helpful.
      Keep building this great, functioning community! Great job guys. :)

      • Thanks Chris. I am sure that our team can work towards clearer communication in these cases where technical ideas are lost in translation.

        • It would be great if support included an option that allowed users to identify their tech level specific to their request. Though everyone needs some extra hand holding or explanation at some point, I’d love to skip past all that and just be told “open this file, edit this line of code” when I’m comfortable doing just that. SlideDeck support does something like this and I think it’s fab: http://imgur.com/SUn7utm

  7. No support system can ever be perfect. But so long as the company is continually striving to get close, then the system will inevitably get better – as it has with ET over the years. Well done!

    • Thanks Bob, we are working towards perfection every day, even if it may not be possible :)

  8. Great job Nick on implementing this rating system. It’s nice to see you so involved now, not that you weren’t before, but now you are communicating with the community on a regular basis…

    Thanks so much for all you do,

    Justin

    • Thanks Justin.

  9. This is a great idea, Nick. This is certainly a step forward in building a better support system.

  10. The problem I have is only the time difference but what does P you off is when you are waiting for reply and you see other support tickets being answered and not yours this has happened on several times to me.

    • The difficulty of the question, and whether or not it is customization-related, will affect how long it takes for our techs to answer it. We are answering all questions in less that 24 hours though, and most get answered significantly faster than that.

      • That’s right Nick, today I posted a question and within 2 min. I had 2 answers, that is just great.
        I’m extremely happy with the support here, and as I have been writing before: I have never meet such a great support anywhere on the Internet before.
        Thanks again guys.

  11. Great that you track this, but you should fix the bugs in the support system before adding new features imo. Very annoying with the login bugs that I know have been reported to you earlier.

    • I agree with Daniel about the Login Bug it is so annoying.
      Another Bug :)
      When you upload a photo in the forum eg. a screenshot, it tells you to “click here” if you want to make a new topic/post, and thats while you not are finish writing.

  12. Great idea Nick!..

    I’ve been waiting for a while to find a solution/resolution the the Origin theme using too much CPU on server side when traffic spikes above 2,000 uniques a day ..

    Issue lies with ‘infinite scroll’ on homepage causing “/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php” to go crazy w/ DB requests…

    Asked for a method to turn this feature off through support but was given infective solution…

    If you ever do find an answer to this, please post it in an update or something…

    Thanks for all the great work through the years!

  13. You should put in a scale measurement..not just a happy and sad face.
    Do a 1 -5
    1 = Not Satisfied – Poor
    2 = Fair
    3 = Good
    4 = Very Good
    5 = Excellent

    Then you could measure a bit more accurately. There are many times it takes so many back and forth messages, I cannot say good but I don’t want to say bad either. Maybe what they told me didn’t work so I had to reply back and forth it goes….So I won’t answer at all.

    • I agree Ela. Handling of a ticket is not just WONDERFUL or HORRIBLE. It’s usually somewhere between. On the whole I am happy with the support although I get frustrated when my original ticket is not READ but just glanced at. *However* on the whole I give ET high marks for support.

      • Thanks Lynda. Right now I want to focus on eliminating major pain points in the support system. Anyone who is having a truly bad experience is not acceptable, and we need to identify those situations and learn from them.

  14. Elegant Themes themes, support and pricing are the best that Ive experienced. That said, I have some gripes. The themes are just fantastic, but the main support site itself sucks balls. I created a thread here about just a few of the issues (there are many more that I forget to note down):

    https://www.elegantthemes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=213732&sid=aa73b4c979f729a612799b1035bbfbad

    Id like you to put more effort into this support site like you do with your themes. It’s very frustrating to use.

    I have one other unresolved problem. An issue that has been going on for a long, long time with promises of fixes, but no luck so far:
    https://www.elegantthemes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=205851

    Other than these issues, I love ET!

  15. Thank you so much for doing this!

    Might you consider having a specialty Support team for relative newbies to ET/WordPress?

    (I ask because I think the relative newbies have a lot of the same questions but very different questions from the developers. A Support team specializing in newbies might actually eventually be able to morph into a very welcome and useful FAQ … and possibly a lot less hair-tearing-out from Support folks who are probably real tired of seeing *that* question again!)

    Just a thought. Thanks again for asking for our feedback!

    • Thanks for the suggestion Patrice. I think that any of our current moderators are capable of helping new users, it’s just a matter of learning how to communicate more clearly. I think we will learn a lot as we dive into these support complaints.

  16. The reason I just open a ticket and ask the question is that when I search for an answer that may have already been given, I get a result for every word in the question. It’s not unusual for there to be 2,469 results. If I could “put quotations” around a part of the question or the question and have better results, I might not open up so many tickets.

    • Sorry about that. We are limited by the functions of our support forum software (phpBB).

  17. Great improvement:

    I use the support system, but I think if you had some “more video guides” it would really help.

    I also think it would solve many questions if you tweaked the sample data you supply.
    Specifically – the sample data should make the theme look and feel like the demo version on the site, currently this is not the case (if the images have copyright, then supply alternative images to act as placeholders)

    • Our sample data does include images that take the place the copyrighted ones. Has this not been the case in your experience? Dummy content is added with the intent that it will be replaced with real content.

  18. I’ll be honest, the main reason I didn’t renew my membership was because of the poor support I’d received.

    I still love your themes, so this might just be what it takes for me to re-join.

    A great step in the right direction. Well done !

    • Sorry to hear that Dave. We are trying hard every day to keep up with the support requests of our customers. We will only improve as time goes on :)

  19. I have to say that while I’m a relative newbie when it comes to working with websites, I’ve had good luck finding what I need in your support forums. As others have pointed out, it can be tough to find the exact info I need, but that’s not unique to your site’s forum. So, I just try different search strings until I get my answer.

    The one thing I would like to see, though, is better (updated) documentation and videos. All of your themes are different, but your documentation doesn’t cover all those little exceptions. I see people in forums comment on that all the time, i.e., “that would be a great thing to include in your documentation the next time you update it.” Honestly, I gave up on the docs and videos pretty early on and just tried to figure things out on my own or by wading through the forums. Having been a tech writer/trainer for 25+ years, I’m one of those rare people that actually does “read the manual” when it’s available and well done :-) The videos are so-so in that they often move too fast through topics, skip steps, and omit details.

    I use videos to train my clients and have even used videos to demonstrate bugs when submitting support tickets (not to ET, though). IMHO, training videos are one of the most poorly/under utilized tools out there. Maybe you could dedicate some resources to that effort, and you might keep some people from having to go the forums in the first place.

    Off topic, but I’m glad to see you folks actively blogging. You provide lots of great tips and some cool freebies. So, your blog gets a smiley face…even if your documentation does not :-)

    Thanks for posting this topic, and good luck on your improvement goals!

  20. I,m a member for 2 Years now and I got all my problems I had solved!.Some where fixed within a few minutes, some took 2-3 hours ,some a few days, but each and every problems I experienced was solved by elegant support staff! The support is friendly and professional and If you consider that Elegant themes has members from all over the world (I’m from Thailand for example) think about the time difference I’m happy with Elegant Themes! Keep the good things coming!

    Regards,

    Sue

  21. I have 10 out of 10 rated for ET team…

    super like service…

  22. Very use full rating system..! :-) Our site will be ISO standard..! :-)

  23. Nice to hear.

    However, phpBB is discussion forum software and not design to manage, track or consolidate bug reporting & technical support management.

    Bugzilla might be something to investigate.

  24. My thoughts are this. … great VALUE product. All those themes for $39 is a steal! However, as much as support can be helpful at times, my main gripe is the amount of themes that don’t validate, (just check the demo pages in W3C validator tool) and that for me is a major problem. I have requested on various themes for this to be addressed, but 4/5 months later, still the same errors.

  25. I have had an open ticket for several days now trying to get my Envisioned theme update behave like the demo and my earlier version. Had one suggestion and tried it to no avail. No further support was provided & I’m stuck with the same problem. Getting the right aspect ratio to display on a lost should not be that hard especially if the demo does it and my previous version did it. Hope this gets some attention. Thank you for the opportunity to express my discomfort. I have had great service on previous occasions.

    • Actually we responded to your thread, but didn’t receive a follow-up from you. Can you please check so that we can continue?

  26. Hi Nick, why does my previous post not appear here?

    • The only reason I don’t approve comments is due to foul language, such as “suck balls.” Anyway, I went ahead and approved it, but I would prefer a more pleasant tone on the blog if possible…

      • Sorry, you’re right. I think I had a couple before posting ;)

  27. Hi Nick and ET Team!

    Thank you for everything that you do for us customers and providing such a great product/service. Elegant Themes is the only company that I feel really close to. There are several factors for that. And of course, it all starts from the Suppoort Forum.
    Especially, for the past month I have been working on developing my website full time, and support that I received all throughout was of an immense value and help, as well as its speedy and prompt delivery. Not even mentioning how much I learned in the process being only a novice user. Thank you for opening to me a new world of web design and web developing!
    And I have to mention about all of the goodies that you were spoiling us with recently. They have been really handy in developing and designing my website. Lastly, but not least, I just want to say thank you to all of you guys for your dedication in developing beautiful themes and great support towards us!

    Best regards,
    Timur

  28. Love the themes and the support is great, and the new blog content is extremely helpful – thank you for your fine work.

    Can you please, please upgrade the interface for the support forum? The content is great, but the interface is cumbersome. Search results often return the same thread 7 or 8 times, with the same content. Makes it very time consuming to find what I’m looking for. Also, the /member-area/ login times out after about 10 minutes, very frustrating when I’m working on a problem for a few hours and want to return to what I was doing.

    • I agree that constantly being logged out of the members area of the forum is extremely frustrating. For example, if you switch from reading the forum to browsing themes, you have to log in again. It is so time consuming.

      Please change the members area so that we can stay logged in. Thank you.

  29. You support system is good just as long as you don’t have a real problem. I had a real problem with uploading media and half my pages went out of wack. My site was not updatable for weeks. I finally had to get someone else to fix the problem because I could not get it fixed through Elegant Themes. If you are supporting over 200,000 none techie users and getting over a million support request you seriously need upgrade you tech support staff to a bare minimum level to handle this volume. Right now it is very, very week.

  30. Nick, here’s a problem I see that occurs within the forums:

    Users ask the same question that has already been answered.

    I have been and sometimes still am one of those users.

    The reason this occurs is for two reasons:

    1) When searching for answers in the forums, the user does not always use the best keywords. As a result, the answer may be found so many pages into the query that it’s faster to re-ask the question rather than lose more money spending time to read through the posts to try to find the answer.

    2) The theme documentation is not updated to include answers to FAQ’s from the forums.

    Here is a potential solution:

    Implement a system to track frequently (repeatedly) asked questions that are placed in the forums, and then update the theme documentation with those questions and answers.

  31. One additional suggestion to consider:

    Create a documentation wiki for members.

    Allow active subscribers — especially those with technical writing skills such as myself and others in the above comments — to contribute to the community by sharing what we know about the themes in a constructive, useful manner that would benefit all members.

  32. The worst thing about EG is the support. My every experience with them has been poor. I had previously decided not to renew my subscription, but this post has caused me to reconsider. At least you are taking customer (dis)satisfaction seriously.

  33. I offer my customers immediate money-back satisfaction: If I’m not satisfied with their money, I’ll give it back. (Hasn’t happened yet.)

    The company I work for has about 50,000 administrative users. Each support call closed generates a survey that ranks the rep that handled the call, and it is structured with 5 objective questions. In other words, we agreed up front the terms of our service to you, leaving little room for either of us to re-define it.

    To date, our customer service department regularly scores in the high 90s (out of 100) in satisfaction. And any associate with consistently low scores is remediated – and if necessary, let go.

    My point is an occasional survey to a member may be useful. Maybe random, maybe to those who frequently ask for help.

    Also, have a once-a-month boot camp, perhaps a 30 min webinar or video with tips on how to customize themes. They can end with links to threads that cover specific theme enhancements and tweaks. Some know PHP as if it’s their first language while others of us feel guilty for trying to code it with out a prescription. The more we learn together and share, the better.

  34. Hi Nick and Team.

    This is a really good thing, you have grown a really popular and successful business, and seem to be up to the task in taking it to the next level (if the last few months of forward momentum are anything to go by)

    I can honestly hand on heart say I have yet to experience anything but good service from Elegant Themes so thanks to all of you. Indeed I spend a lot of time reading questions in the forum, and believe most of the questions being answered are actually beyond the scope of what you have to support as most relate to customization of the templates but very few of these requests are left unanswered.

    With this in mind, have you considered a premium service (Paid for) where you have a couple of dedicated staff on heavy customization duty. This may become a really popular part of Elegant Themes.

    As stated by various comments already, a bigger scale would also be better (three choices should do so as to not get lost in the four star syndrome) on the choices of service feedback, Bad, Ok and Good. This will help point out problems and highlight best practices without slewing the data-set.

    Overall, between Elegant Themes and ServerPress, I simply could not have made a WordPress Website business from nothing ( all self taught along the way ) to one where my ongoing and booked projects will take me well into 2014 and growing, so thanks guys :)

  35. hi nick & team,

    I love elegant themes and the value for money it provides. as such, ET does attract a lot of newbies as customers which leads to a lot of support requests & may overload the support teams at times.

    whilst I understand that the support team now does not provide any
    customization support – when it previously did – it is frustrating at times, esp when you just need a small & easy customization.

    2 ways to improve – win win situation for ET & its customers:
    1) in the support section of each theme – link to the customization blog post for the different themes (note – some users hardly read the ET blog – since we’re too busy trying to figure out how to adjust our themes).

    2) set up a ET blog hack, tips and tricks, small customization, solve problems – organized by theme – and with a step by step guide using Youtube. link this blog to the support forum by theme.

    ET will gain a) a wider audience with Youtube – and probably more customers; b) existing customers will probably be able to understand using the themes better which lead to less technical support request.

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