26 replies
I've noticed over the past 10 months that I have been here and whenever I need to contact a WSO seller with a support issue, they usually take quite a while to reply. Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't like to sit and wait for at least some acknowledgement that you have received my email and will get back to me in a timely manner.

There is an easy fix to this problem and I am yet to see a WSO seller utilize it. It is the Auto Responder feature in your cPanel! What this does is send out an auto reply email with a set response to any email that comes in to a specific email account.

This is a quick run down on how to set up an auto response message:

1. Log into cPanel.
2. Scroll down to the Mail section and click on the Auto Responder icon.
3. On the new page, click the Add Auto Responder button.
4. Add the appropriate information in the fields.
a) Use utf-8 character set unless you have a reason not to
b) Change interval to how many hours you want
c) Select the email address and the domain the email response will come from
d) Add who the email will be from
e) Add a subject line
f) Choose whether you want to use HTML or not
g) Add the body of your email
h) Select Start & Stop times
5. Click Create/Modify button.

Now when someone sends an email to that email account they will receive that response within a few minutes. They will not be left waiting on you knowing that you will get back to them like you have promised.

I have included a screenshot for clarification.
#customer #support #wso
  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Mike,

    I don't think notification of the response message is forwarded anywhere. In other words, I think the cpanel autoresponder sends the email response, but doesn't let you know anyone used it. Unless I am mistaken, it didn't do this when I have used it in the past.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    Another thing I do see used is the vacation setting in Gmail, which I believe can notify you of the inquiry.

    Good tip either way. Downside is it doesn't get a real person to respond any faster, which I agree, is frustrating.

    Thanks,

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
      Originally Posted by globalpro View Post

      Mike,

      I don't think notification of the response message is forwarded anywhere. In other words, I think the cpanel autoresponder sends the email response, but doesn't let you know anyone used it. Unless I am mistaken, it didn't do this when I have used it in the past.

      Correct me if I am wrong.

      Another thing I do see used is the vacation setting in Gmail, which I believe can notify you of the inquiry.

      Good tip either way. Downside is it doesn't get a real person to respond any faster, which I agree, is frustrating.

      Thanks,

      John
      Why would the response email need to be forwarded anywhere? You still get the users original email message in your email account so you can reply manually whenever you have time. This is just a way to let your customers know that you are not ignoring them and that their email will get responded to in a timely manner.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I tend not to take any notice of auto responder type emails I receive the instant I send someone an email. You know straight away that it is an automated message so it doesn't really change things for me. As a WSO vendor myself I prefer to just answer people's questions nice and quickly - don't make people wait more than a day, 2 at the most for a reply. You are taking their money so treat them like you would any other customer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Will,

      At least people will know their email has landed in the intended inbox.

      Martin
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

        Will,

        At least people will know their email has landed in the intended inbox.

        Martin
        Oh ok, if that's the intended purpose then yeah, that could be good. But as I say, we should just be encouraging sellers to get off their bum and answer support requests faster.
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        • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
          Answering support questions quickly is great but there are an awful lot of customers who forget about time zone differences and the like or that go spastic if you haven't responded within an hour. Maybe this suggestion would relieve some of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    There is never an excuse for a no reply. My policy is simple. If I email you with a question about your product or service and I do not receive an answer within 24 hours, I will not buy from you again. There are plenty of warriors who will be selling the same thing.

    I also practice what I preach, There are hundreds of warriors on this forum who have emailed me or called me and you'll not find one who will come back and say I have not followed through with this policy. Most people find calls to my office are answered by one of my associates 30% of the time, by myself 65% of the time and message machine 5% of the time.

    The more money you make, the more staff you should have dedicated to Customer Support.

    I usually watch for comments on support issues with WSO's. Problems will pop up but it's the support I weigh in on.

    PS: The day is coming when support issues will be initiated by sms and IMHO this is a sure way to know your support issue was received.
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    • Profile picture of the author Guy Horton
      Originally Posted by proapc View Post

      There is never an excuse for a no reply. My policy is simple. If I email you with a question on about your product or service and I do not receive an answer within 24 hours, I will not buy from you again. There are plenty of warriors who will be selling the same thing.
      I was just about to start a thread regarding acceptable customer service response time. Auto responder messages mean very little to me, If the vendor is not monitoring their help desk or does not have an assistant performing the task why have a help desk.

      Personally, I have a support issue at the moment which I have contacted support at the published address receiving "550 UN-route-able address". After searching to find the correct contact address, I am now going on day 5 of no reply from a real person.The shocking part of this saga is this is a well known seller.The impression I'm receiving from this is my company has your money now your on your own.

      Mike, your method a great idea but, acknowledgment that you have received my email is only a small part of customer service. Human intervention is required at some point, which it appears some sellers have not discovered where that point begins.

      All the best,
      Guy
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Interesting in some minor way I can agree, that receiving the automated, message, which usually says hey I am automated, but were looking out for ya, type thing, is in its own way, providing some measure of comfort, (unless you never get a reply)

    Over all most of the time I get a reply on WSO questions, within a few hours, cant really remember not getting a reply, but that may be because of the type of WSOs that I am interested in are usually run by established sellers.

    still a good thing to make not of.
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    • Profile picture of the author Coby
      Originally Posted by Tim Franklin View Post

      Over all most of the time I get a reply on WSO questions, within a few hours, cant really remember not getting a reply, but that may be because of the type of WSOs that I am interested in are usually run by established sellers.

      still a good thing to make not of.
      Thanks for making the clarification Tim! I think it's rather unfair for Mr. Baker to make such a statement...

      I personally can't recall the last time (if ever) that I've had issues with a WSO seller that weren't handled in a timely manner...

      As for the "c-panel autoresponder" isn't a great idea for those of us who give REAL support and use REAL email addresses...

      I have subscribers that email me on a daily basis (just to chat or with questions) and I'd find it might make my support seem less "real" and more "mechanical"...

      I am a real person and my customers know this - I don't think the issue is fixed by a simple 'auto-reply' like Tim says 'especially if it goes unnoticed'...

      I nearly always include my personal email in every product or the very least a link to my contact form (which emails me)...

      So I don't think this is a good fix for all... but might help those who don't really plan to provide any support in the first place...

      Just my .02...
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by Coby View Post

        As for the "c-panel autoresponder" isn't a great idea for those of us who give REAL support and use REAL email addresses...

        I have subscribers that email me on a daily basis (just to chat or with questions) and I'd find it might make my support seem less "real" and more "mechanical"...

        I am a real person and my customers know this - I don't think the issue is fixed by a simple 'auto-reply' like Tim says 'especially if it goes unnoticed'...
        I agree.

        It certainly does make your support seem less personal. I just like to respond to my customers the same way I would if it were my dad or my best friend emailing me. I wouldn't send them an automated message telling them I received their email. I'd just get back to them in a timely manner and all is fine in the world.

        Let them know you received their email by responding to it and answering their question.
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  • Profile picture of the author stlcardsfan
    I agree. I am very new here and the first WSO I bought I had a issue with and customer service was horrible. Instead of fixing my problem, that I had posted mid week about, he posted on Friday he was heading to the cabin, or lake, or something like that and would take care of issues on Mon. Wow. I did get a refund on Sunday like I asked.

    The other thing I don't understand, and I mean no offense when I say this, is some of these WSO are just crazy. I like the one's that say "I'll show you how to make 6 figures..."really? Why are you sharing and creating competition for yourself? I have not bought any of those. Plus the one I mentioned above there was a monthly fee of $47 bucks. After my ordeal he shut it down and said thanks to over the 600 people that bought it. Well I tell you, at 600 people a pop at $47 thats over $28,000 a month. You better believe I would make customer service my top priority.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      Originally Posted by StlDon View Post

      I agree. I am very new here and the first WSO I bought I had a issue with and customer service was horrible. Instead of fixing my problem, that I had posted mid week about, he posted on Friday he was heading to the cabin, or lake, or something like that and would take care of issues on Mon. Wow. I did get a refund on Sunday like I asked.
      Here's the problem. People have lives too! Now the seller may or may not have been telling the truth but do we as customers insist that a brick and mortar business owner come down to his store after hours and address support issues for his customers?

      The exchange of money for a product doesn't entitle buyers the right to get support at any hour of the day or night.

      And as another poster pointed out, there are sometimes large differences in time zones. Just recently I got a support ticket my time at 3:30 AM. Then by 4:30 AM the customer had spammed my WF inbox, private messaged me on my private forums, sent emails, and then skyped me countless times.


      I certainly understand the benefit to my business by replying to support issues in a timely manner but as I said before the purchase of a product doesn't entitle people to support at an instants notice, nor outside of regular business hours where the product owner lives.

      One thing I AM going to do is get with my support team and we are going to clearly indicate our support hours in UTC time.

      Here's a suggestion to other sellers, if you provide a help desk, and you should, INSIST that your customers use it.

      There are to many avenues in which they can attempt to contact you online and sometimes if they feel you haven't responded fast enough they will try all the other methods possible! Then they wonder why they get dropped through the cracks and end up with no support.

      Set the ground rules for support and don't deviate from it. I clearly post on my WSO that posts about support issue are to be done via the help desk, not the wso thread. When a customer doesn't follow the rules I have no choice but to have the post deleted. Without FAIL I see a ticket show up shortly there after at the help desk.
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      • Profile picture of the author stlcardsfan
        Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

        Here's the problem. People have lives too! Now the seller may or may not have been telling the truth but do we as customers insist that a brick and mortar business owner come down to his store after hours and address support issues for his customers?

        The exchange of money for a product doesn't entitle buyers the right to get support at any hour of the day or night.

        And as another poster pointed out, there are sometimes large differences in time zones. Just recently I got a support ticket my time at 3:30 AM. Then by 4:30 AM the customer had spammed my WF inbox, private messaged me on my private forums, sent emails, and then skyped me countless times.


        I certainly understand the benefit to my business by replying to support issues in a timely manner but as I said before the purchase of a product doesn't entitle people to support at an instants notice, nor outside of regular business hours where the product owner lives.

        One thing I AM going to do is get with my support team and we are going to clearly indicate our support hours in UTC time.

        Here's a suggestion to other sellers, if you provide a help desk, and you should, INSIST that your customers use it.

        There are to many avenues in which they can attempt to contact you online and sometimes if they feel you haven't responded fast enough they will try all the other methods possible! Then they wonder why they get dropped through the cracks and end up with no support.

        Set the ground rules for support and don't deviate from it. I clearly post on my WSO that posts about support issue are to be done via the help desk, not the wso thread. When a customer doesn't follow the rules I have no choice but to have the post deleted. Without FAIL I see a ticket show up shortly there after at the help desk.
        I don't disagree that people have lives. I run a service business, and I understand that.

        I gave this person 24 hours to respond to me, with no response. I sent a email to his paypal acct, filled out a support ticket, and put it on the thread. 24 hours later, no response, and he was online looking around. Then he writes on the thread email him my pp details (which I already did). It went back and forth from there, then he pops the posting about going away. Really? Now if he would have sent me a email (which he had) and said, hey, I'm looking at your issue and I will get back with you on Monday, then I am cool with that. There were other people that were having issues and it was just like he said screw you, I got your money and I am going to the lake or whatever.

        But if you have a product that people want, and so many people buy, and the product has weak legs, why are sellers moving on to other products to pitch. I got a email from this guy yesterday saying "You got to check my new FB twister" or something like that out. Whatever...

        I bought this wp plugin for SMS. It's great. I know I paid 14 bucks for it. And I dont expect him to work his butt off on updates and them be free. I'd be happy to pay a for it.

        Just my .02.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
          Well I can agree that your experience with that one product could have been better with customer support.

          One of the big problems that many wso sellers don't realize is that price versus customer support time required for the product are completely unbalanced. Seeing that your a service provider yourself you should understand this concept rather easily.

          If I write a report about something that's for the most part very newbie friendly lets say, then I sell it on a WSO for $7. What level of support is necessary to keep people satisfied within reason and how much is to much.

          At what level does the support now make it unprofitable based on the pricing. As a customer the less I spend for something the less support I expect and rightly so. The more I pay for something the support level should match as well.

          This is where things are out of whack in my opinion on the wso section.

          Tons of people are selling products for next to nothing who've never really run a real business and don't understand pricing, profitability, and customer management/support.

          The lower prices are great for the customers but not so great for many sellers especially if they have to provide extended support for a simple report.

          Really its a quandary, and I don't have all the answers but I do know that more sellers should be setting the ground rules for support when people make a purchase.

          One thing I'd like to see changed in the WSO approval process is that sellers should be required to include their customer support process along with a help desk URL. If seller can't provide this then their wso isn't approved. The support process should be included in a conspicuous place on the original wso. This lets buyers know upfront what type of support is offered and where to go to get it.


          Originally Posted by StlDon View Post

          I don't disagree that people have lives. I run a service business, and I understand that.

          I gave this person 24 hours to respond to me, with no response. I sent a email to his paypal acct, filled out a support ticket, and put it on the thread. 24 hours later, no response, and he was online looking around. Then he writes on the thread email him my pp details (which I already did). It went back and forth from there, then he pops the posting about going away. Really? Now if he would have sent me a email (which he had) and said, hey, I'm looking at your issue and I will get back with you on Monday, then I am cool with that. There were other people that were having issues and it was just like he said screw you, I got your money and I am going to the lake or whatever.

          But if you have a product that people want, and so many people buy, and the product has weak legs, why are sellers moving on to other products to pitch. I got a email from this guy yesterday saying "You got to check my new FB twister" or something like that out. Whatever...

          I bought this wp plugin for SMS. It's great. I know I paid 14 bucks for it. And I dont expect him to work his butt off on updates and them be free. I'd be happy to pay a for it.

          Just my .02.
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          • Profile picture of the author stlcardsfan
            I agree. Some of this stuff is dirt cheap. For 7 bucks, it's hard to provide customer service. For the sellers, make something good, sell it for a
            Higher price, and charge a few bucks for updates so you don't get burned out.

            And don't rehash someone else's wso and put your name on it. That made me aggravated last night.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Customer support is a two-way street.

    The world at large is full of reactive, hopelessly helpless buyers who send one line support requests with ZERO personally identifiable information and then expect someone else to be able to make sense of it...

    Then, there's the ones who send "War & Peace" tickets with rambling, 4,000 word rants - often incoherent, frequently only tangentially related to what they've bought...

    And, of course, who could forget all the wonderful folks who open 7 tickets within 3 hours, usually at 4 AM your time, each increasingly freaked out about not hearing back from anyone...

    Despite the feel-good rhetoric about the customer always being right, and acknowledging that the customer is always the customer - you have to help people help YOU.

    If you want great support - do this:

    Include your full name.
    Include your Paypal email if that's how you paid.
    Include a copy of your payment receipt.
    Describe exactly what's happening that's causing you grief - don't just say "doesn't work".
    Include your phone number or Skype (sometimes support issues are better sussed out via Skype or the phone)

    Yours in better interpersonal communication,

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Kate C
    That is great information. It will instill confidence in our customers that we are there for them even if we cannot give them the answer that they want right away. An instant response is reassuring.Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Selling WSO's to me, is about supporting them too...

    As a buyer, I hate to wait very long for an answer, so as a seller, I try to answer within a few hours. I doubt anyone has had to wait a day. I forward the support emails to an acct I check frequently. I'm not sure an autoresponder going back to the buyer would help things much.
    _____
    Bruce NewMedia
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    GREAT thread Mike. Taking your time to help fellow WSOers.

    Also a good reference thread who is a good person to purchase from and who is not in their attitude towards their customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Burton Lancaster
    Thats a nice quick and easy way to get the job done!

    What we do is use a support ticketing system that automatically emails us when a ticket comes through (which also goes to our cell phones) and also can email the customer a default message to let them know there ticket is important and is being reviewed.

    Your right though, that little auto response method ensures the customer that they are not forgotten.
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    • Profile picture of the author retirewithsandie
      Originally Posted by StlDon View Post

      The other thing I don't understand, and I mean no offense when I say this, is some of these WSO are just crazy. I like the one's that say "I'll show you how to make 6 figures..."really? Why are you sharing and creating competition for yourself?
      It would think that it depends on a lot of factors though. Including the niche (i.e. if it's specific to one niche or can be used in any niche), if it's online/offline, if it works best in US only or can be used in any country or certain countries, etc.

      The seller may do it in A niche but others may chose B, C or D niche. And if it's offline and you live in a fairly large area, even if there are several Warriors who live near you, there are zillions of businesses out there you can target.

      But the most important thing is how many actually take action with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    Well support is a big issue with any business now days but it is also an important part of your business.

    A lot of times, as most can see from reading everything above, you're business is judged on how well it handes support.

    As for most IMer's on WF, I answer my emails personally and have a support ticket system in place to track all support issues. Also once you're a customer, or client, of mine you get a (888) number which is answered by a live person 24/7 and where I can be reached or your call can be patched if it's an emergency. This is handled by an answering service, which isn't that expensive at all. Considering how important missed calls are to your business.

    Just my 2 cents on the topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    Auto responders don't do much for me in terms of customer support. Sending those automated responses just de-valued your customer support IMO. Some WSO sellers do take a long time to repsond and this could be for a few reasons:

    1. They do not take their online business serisouly and are trying to make a quick buck.

    2. They are sleeping or are not online...unavailable for any number of reasons.

    3. They got hit with WSO of the day and are getting massive traffic.

    I get a lot of traffic and questions with my business and I am a one man show as far as customer support yet I have one of the fastest response times around. I make it a point to be available as much as possible and I respond as quick as possible. Those are my priorities with my customers service and it works wonderfully.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danam1
    I like autoresponders because I then know my email was received. If the email response from a real person comes in a reasonable time and in the time promised by the autoresponder I am fine with that. My problem comes with an autoresponder is when you never get any response but the autoresponder email.
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  • Profile picture of the author masterjani
    sometimes autoresponders give negative impression,That they have to wait for long time.But the idea is cool,
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