close ad
Install the LAtest Updates to Work with CC 2017 and CC 2018
open ad
View Menu

Technical Support Forums

Free, outstanding support from WebAssist and your colleagues

rating

Customer feedback and support model request

Thread began 4/14/2010 11:16 am by neil.batchelor254136 | Last modified 4/28/2010 2:47 pm by mr hankey | 1616 views | 10 replies |

neil.batchelor254136

Customer feedback and support model request

I want to add my 2 pence worth in year as I have been a customer of webassist for a number of years.

I would give the support a 5/10.
Anna you should take note of this please.
The quality of your products is only as good is its support.
I have a number of small issues with your products but I won't go into these as I can raise individual support tickets on these.
Generally the bugs are few and howto's are many.

I want to start by saying the support is sometimes great and sometimes poor and sometimes your experts don't explain themselves well enough to close the ticket and satisfy the customer. However I do appreciate the degree of effort is high to resolve issues and bespoke queries.

As a business owner your support model doesn't work for me. Basically if I receive a new client brief or an existing client brief, I need to be able to develop that with the best tools and knowledge to follow the brief in as quick a time as possible.
We need to quote based on price, quality and time competition.

However dealing with your support in this fashion - i.e. no chat, skype or telephone support is not able to adequately support my business with a stedfast timeline, especially a tight deadline. I have data assist tickets that go back months that would blow a project deadline apart if I just relied on your support to help me.
As such I hire in external resources globally to code up from the basics like dataassist can provide.

You actually dont offer a complete product. Reason: users have goals and if they can only reach 20-90% of that goal - it is nevertheless incomplete.

Satisfy your business clients by coaching them from 0 to 100% of their goals and because such 'in person' tutorials are remembered it will mean that you won't have to repeat yourselves on so many similar queries.

You need a continual conversation to get things solved and sorted there and then, for example within an entire week resolve all the useage and how to questions on a subject area, rather than fragmented forum postings over a longer period.

Your components offer relatively good value for money but without good support to push the boundaries of your products they aren't worth anything to companies like ours.

However have you missed a trick...I think so.
Allow customers to get the basics out of the products with video tutorials...great. But when clients ask businesses to push boundaries dedicated support is required. Why don't you charge for this because I am spending this elsewhere.

In almost 3 years you could have earnt around £X,000 from us alone if you had offered this and I would be writing an email of great satisfaction and thanks.

Instead you have earnt £300 on components together with a disgruntled email on largely how unhappy I am with your approach which is one step removed from the customer and their needs and one step removed from tangible interaction with the customer, like the old telephone. We just don't have time to wait for a forum response to find we need another 20 messages to resolve the issue.

I have had telephone support from Jason before which is excellent but I would need that multiple a project to feel happy about your service overall. Again there are comanies like mine willing to pay for it.

Therefore charge as much as you feel the market will respond to, but make an offer of telephone support/dedicated support OR own up to not adequately support some of your users.

All in all I looking forward to seeing more advanced features for data assist and perhaps a data reporting module, but again I won't elaborate unless a member of your team would find it useful to discuss it with me over the phone.

So my conclusion is this - make REAL customer service king through REAL means not forums.
1. you will find you earn a significant amount to fund your support teams.
2. respond to customers - ALWAYS.
3. you will sell more components and 'support packages' than you could imagine.

Many thanks,
Neil

Sign in to reply to this post

yogastudents362523

Originally Said By: neil.batchelor254136
  Generally the bugs are few and howto's are many.  


Agreed. There is a real problem, however, with the general direction taken by those how-to's, and I think you are putting your finger on why and what.

Originally Said By: neil.batchelor254136
  As a business owner ... We need to quote based on price, quality and time competition.  


Yes. That speaks directly to the intended market, market share of these products. When a customer of this kind needs support, it is a serious issue, affecting their bottom line. A forum, by contrast, is intended to be a place where "friends" help each other out. That's very nice, but "friends" don't tend to respond in a timely manner when you have a business and a deadline.

Originally Said By: neil.batchelor254136
  ... dealing with your support in this fashion ... is not able to adequately support my business  


Yes. If you are going to sell to people who are clearly doing business with other people, then you owe them the obligation of not jeopardising THEIR contracts and livelihoods.

Originally Said By: neil.batchelor254136
  when clients ask businesses to push boundaries dedicated support is required. Why don't you charge for this because I am spending this elsewhere.  


Well ... why not have two completely separate forums? Business users like you could have access to a complete forum of their own which is monitored 24/7, with the clear understanding that personalized backup is available when needed. Others may perhaps be permitted to read that forum ... but only business users who have registered for it, along with dedicated WebAssist techies can post there. So no not on a deadline or without real business needs and understandings can post there? Then everyone knows that everyone present there is on a deadline. Lots of companies have graded support options avaialable with different levels of service, and this could perhaps be one level of service? And if WebAssist do not respond in a timely manner to a question posted then it pays a small penalty in the sense that (a) the subscription fee is reduced by a set amount; and (b) they are then obligated to the personal handholding you have described? WebAssist clearly don't want to do it as a matter of course, because it is presumably very expensive. But maybe a specialized forum of this kind with the handholding option available more rapidly than would be the norm for those who don't pay that subscription?
Bye now.

Sign in to reply to this post

neil.batchelor254136

customer support

I agree with most of your comments, but a business forum just doesn't work trust me. Not in the environment and type of work we receive or get.

I would really appreciate a reply from Web assist.

Many thanks,
Neil

Sign in to reply to this post

Ray BorduinWebAssist

We shouldn't be using 20 back and forths to solve a problem. That is an example of a mistake by one of our support engineers in not escalating the problem to a support incident. If they had anticipated that it would take more than 1 or 2 back and forths they should have escalated the issue to a support incident immediately instead. Then we would get you on the phone. That is how it should work. It is sometimes hard to judge at first whether your forum post will be enough for a user to find success since you can't look at their resume with it.

We have phone support, but we only escalate issues to phone support when necessary. We used to have both a forum and incident system that were both client initiated, but we found everyone used the incident system and we had to answer the same question over and over. The open forum as an intro to support is to help everyone understand any issues we are currently experiencing and provide answers to multiple people at once when necessary.

We tried a paid for support system, but then we got lots of complaints that support should always be free for a product. Which I tend to agree with particularly if people are running into bugs.

We have 3-5 full time support people working at any given time. We do answer every post, and everybody will tell you they are on a deadline. We could justify hiring more with a paid support model, but paid support is actually a ding against us pre-purchase for many potential customers. Same thing with a business forum. We did mentor training for a while, but people started just using it to have us do thier projects for them. Then we raised the price to keep that activity to a minimum and our high priced support just became another ding against us.

We may try one or more of these approaches again at some point, but we have already tried and moved away from them once. We did make money out of that group, but the negative feedback and backlash against the products lead us to go with an all free model.

I can't disagree with any of the comments, it is just a hard issue to solve. In theory these are good plans, but in practice we have seen it isn't so easy. We appreciate the feedback and will carefully consider any suggestions.

Sign in to reply to this post

neil.batchelor254136

Conferencing Support

Ray,
I totally agree. There is a but here. The reality of life is that some people want everything for free. For my business I know that if I can purchase data assist to help with a won specification/contract at X cost and the data assist and other products do a good job on 60% completion but I need help completing 40% of the job therefore and pushing to the product and application php limits of our knowledge then I will pay for it.

Yes it is a bespoke service. But if even a small job will earn lets say £2,000 to 5,000. Then of course rather than not complete or loose that job I am going to pay what I need to in support to be successful and delivery on time i.e. £500 or £1,000 or more ...will I pay it? ....yes I will and I will be happy too. What is more the next time I get a similar job spec I would need less or no assistance because of a previously great 1 to 1, over conference that I had paid for that.

At the moment your support is good but it doesn't respond soon enough, resolve queries to their conclusion quickly, with actually implemented results. It doesn't suit a real world scenario.

My experience of your telephone support is brilliant. I want more of it, more bespoke guidance over various means of conference and business like mine will pay because we can reach the goals ahead of us, pay your company and get paid ourselves.

I believe this is a commercial opportunity for Webassist for companies that demand it and for those that want a free tech forum great you have it.
It will also give webassist greater insight in building real world solutions for business and target real functions.

Many thanks,
Neil

Sign in to reply to this post

yogastudents362523

Originally Said By: Ray Borduin
  We used to have both a forum and incident system .... <snip> ... The open forum .... <snip> .... We tried a paid for support system .... <snip> .... lots of complaints that support should always be free .... <snip> .... paid support is actually a ding against us pre-purchase .... <snip> .... Same thing with a business forum .... <snip> .... We did mentor training for a while .... <snip> .... We may try one or more of these approaches again .... <snip> .... it is just a hard issue to solve ....  



Basic decision: "Who do we want our customers to be?" "What do we want them to be like?"

That settled ... everything else gradually falls into place ... the ideas you choose to develop into products ... the general product line ... the kind of documentation you provide ... the kind of support you offer.

Looking with interest to see ... who WebAssist want their customers to be ...

Sign in to reply to this post

troyd

I for one like this way better than it was when I first bought Super Suite a couple years ago. Back then you were allocated 12 support cases (if memory serves). I was totally green and was afraid to use any of them for fear a real problem would come up and I would get stuck paying for support when I really needed it. So I struggled for a long time on issues that could have been resolved right away with a more active forum. Today's forum is much more active. And most of the time I find a solution. Sometimes just by searching.

I do wish that the technical forum was for paid customers only though. Funny thing is I assumed it was up until a couple days ago. I wonder how many people who are not customers of WA have come in, free of charge and downloaded or copy and pasted complete example pages for free. I don't know if they can register and post questions or not, but they can read all the help and files.

The forum should be for members only. There could be a public pre sales section.

TroyD

Sign in to reply to this post

yogastudents362523

I agree with what TroyD just said. I particularly remember OfficeGuy saying something to the effect that nobody here minds answering questions posed by someone who is "totally green", as long as it's clear that they are doing their best to learn and resolve the issue with some personal effort. I've found that true, and my experience thus parallels TroyD.

However, it seems to me -- from my relative inexperience -- that WebAssist is now struggling to service the needs of four different basic groupings of clients, all of whom have different needs. I would categorize them (from observation) as follows:
(A) Designers
... who are whizzes at everything to do with CSS and the presentation of a site, and who see in WebAssist products an opportunity to extend themselves, or else lower costs, by doing more coding. In that, they struggle.
(B) Coders
... who are whizzes at everything to do with ASP, PHP, JavaScript etc and all the backend stuff ... and who like the above group see in WebAssist products an opportunity to extend & lower costs by doing more front end presentation work. But outside their immediate comfort zone, they again struggle.
(C) Large-Scale Professional Organizers
... who know a bit of both the above, but have both a roster of clients and a roster developors of whatever kind that they need and use. They just want WebAssist products to work properly so they can organize properly, get others to do what's required, and fill in whatever gaps they need by getting outside help. They like to keep outside help to a minimum, and want WebAssist products for that purpose.
(D) Small-Scale (and Non-Professional) Organizers
... people like myself (& perhaps TroyD above?) who know nothing, but are gradually struggling to build up a personal knowledge base equal to all three above so they can either maintain their own personal roster of sites, or else run a one-man business.

All these have different needs and requirements. The (C) group, for example, will probably always be prepared to spend that little bit more more moolah to resolve issues -- esp if they can predict them -- than probably will the (D) group, for whom a service like this is more likely to suffice? And (A) and (B) will contain elements of each, but more inclined to the (D) category. Don't know how accurate that is as an analysis and I may be way off base. But seems to cover what I've observed since being around these parts. If something like this is accurate, then WebAssist just needs to make up its mind which group is the most important to its bottom-line, and then become consistent in that direction.

If I'm way off base, then perhaps someone can point out where and how, so we can all learn and benefit?

Bye now.

Sign in to reply to this post

carleneBeta Tester

Hello Web Assist officers and decision makers,
I've voiced my opinion on the whole WebAssist concept before, but will just add general agreement to what the other people are saying here in this forum.

My expertise is essentially marketing and what I've been seeing on these forums is nothing short of amazing and revolutionary from a business marketing point-of-view. You have products that many of us have used for years. Then last year you made some sort of big shift in documentation and support - and that disappointed many of us. Yet - you released some new products, which show great promise.

And here's where you need to pay attention - You have a dedicated enough group of users that some of us have spent hours taking the time to tell you how to improve. We haven't given up on your company or your products! How fantastic is that? Most disappointed customers will simply walk away from a brand if they're disappointed. They won't invest any time in trying to help the company improve the brand/products. You have a truly great brand in the making.

Your products are so close to being perfect time-savers for web developers. I just feel there's a huge disconnect on who you think your customers are, and the level of explanations and how-tos needed to make your complicated software usable.

I point again to Adobe as a prime example of a software company that produces extremely complex, but useful (and now essential) software. They never underestimate how complicated their software is to use, and offer an extreme overkill of documentation and videos and how-tos that cater to every level of user experience.

There was a precursor to your company that made what was called the Adobe Dreamweaver Developer's Toolkit. This was a SEAMLESS tie-in to Dreamweaver. It was super simple and fast to use. Almost bug-free. Unfortunately when Adobe dropped support and development for this perfect product, many of us turned to WebAssist. And we expected your products to work as simply and easily as this other Dreamweaver extension did. Boy has it been a rude awakening! I have literally spent MONTHS - and I truly mean this - MONTHS trying to do with your products, what it took me a day to do with the ADDT. I'm still not entirely successful - but haven't given up. Because you're all I've got. No-one else is making these kinds of Dreamweaver extensions.

To recap - your products are perfect in concept - but execution, support and documentation have MUCH to be desired. Essentially there are a lot of bugs in the products, and these bugs aren't fully documented nor addressed in any means except hunting and pecking through support message boards.

But I'm not giving up on the products and will continue to use them because they fulfill an essential need for me. (Because I'm a front-end developer/online marketer forced to do back-end large scale development due to recessionary budget realities.) I'm sure I'm not alone here. And that's why companies need your products. But life would be so much easier if the reality of your products execution & ease of use matched your advertised & marketed descriptions.

Thanks a lot.

Carlene

- And on a side-note may I add that Jason Byrnes and Dani and Eric Mittman and many of your support team are TOP NOTCH! Please give them all raises. ; )

Sign in to reply to this post

yogastudents362523

Originally Said By: carlene
  You have a dedicated enough group of users  


Yup.

Originally Said By: carlene
  We haven't given up on your company or your products!  


Getting close.

Originally Said By: carlene
  Most disappointed customers will simply walk away from a brand if they're disappointed.  


Getting close.

Originally Said By: carlene
  They won't invest any time in trying to help the company improve the brand/products. You have a truly great brand in the making.  


Absolutely agreed.

Originally Said By: carlene
  Your products are so close to being perfect time-savers for web developers.  


Emphasis on web developers.

Originally Said By: carlene
  ... never underestimate how complicated their software is to use  


Sage advice.

Originally Said By: carlene
  No-one else is making these kinds of Dreamweaver extensions.  


... yet!!! ...
It's just php code plus some imagination, after all. What WA has done is proven the existence of a demand. And where there is a demand ... someone eventually steps in.

Originally Said By: carlene
  ... I'm not giving up on the products  


Thinking about it, though.

Originally Said By: carlene
  I'm sure I'm not alone here.  


I'm quite sure you ain't.

Originally Said By: carlene
  - And on a side-note may I add that Jason Byrnes and Dani and Eric Mittman and many of your support team are TOP NOTCH! Please give them all raises. ; )  


Absolutely, totally. Hats off.

And ... one further comment ... It's YOUR forum, WA. You can do what you like with it. We all know that.

But next time you want to totally shut down a forum, why not post a message there that that is what you are doing ... and/or leave a message there, saying that that is what you have done. You can even delete all the messages. But just to shut it down? Without a word? You don't even have to give an explanation. Just say that that is what you have done. But to do it and then pretend you haven't actually done it (which is what saying nothing at all implies)?? Food for thought, there. Leaves people wondering a bit.

Life is filled with problems that we meet. We are ultimately judged by how we respond to them.

As others said in a different thread ....

  Interesting. This thread has 'dissapeared'  


and

  It looks shady, from an existing customer standpoint.  


and

  Why the cloak and dagger ...  


and

  I give it 48 hours before this thread disappears  



I would give the link to that other thread in which those comments were made ... but under the circumstances ... best say "Bye now".

Oh yes ... Let's just be clear. These are great products, and WA is still managing to be a great company. I wish the products and the company well.

Bye now.

Sign in to reply to this post
loading

Build websites with a little help from your friends

Your friends over here at WebAssist! These Dreamweaver extensions will assist you in building unlimited, custom websites.

Build websites from already-built web applications

These out-of-the-box solutions provide you proven, tested applications that can be up and running now.  Build a store, a gallery, or a web-based email solution.

Want your website pre-built and hosted?

Close Windowclose

Rate your experience or provide feedback on this page

Account or customer service questions?
Please user our contact form.

Need technical support?
Please visit support to ask a question

Content

rating

Layout

rating

Ease of use

rating

security code refresh image

We do not respond to comments submitted from this page directly, but we do read and analyze any feedback and will use it to help make your experience better in the future.

Close Windowclose

We were unable to retrieve the attached file

Close Windowclose

Attach and remove files

add attachmentAdd attachment
Close Windowclose

Enter the URL you would like to link to in your post

Close Windowclose

This is how you use right click RTF editing

Enable right click RTF editing option allows you to add html markup into your tutorial such as images, bulleted lists, files and more...

-- click to close --

Uploading file...