Resolving Customers' Problems
Even if you have very thorough and helpful documentation for your product, you may still have to address support requests, customer concerns, or complaints. This guide is here to help you tackle those things in a productive and positive way.
Responding to Support Requests
Customers can submit questions or support requests to you, both before and after purchasing your product, via the support button in the sidebar of your product page. These communications go straight to your Inbox, where you can respond to them and, if need be, escalate them to a Blender Market administrator. Support requests are a great opportunity to resolve problems before they morph into negative reviews or refunds.
- Address customers by name whenever possible.
- Recognize that the Blender Market community is diverse, and language differences can cause communication challenges. Translation services like Google Translate can come in handy in cases where miscommunications or misunderstandings prevent efficient problem resolution.
- Even if the tone of the support request is rude, short, or disrespectful, you can turn the conversation around by adopting a professional, polite, and respectful tone.
- Be compassionate. Your customer's frustration may have nothing to do with you or your product and everything to do with circumstances in their life. We all have bad days. When you respond to your customer, show that you're listening to what they have to say and interested in resolving their issue with your product.
The nature of the support requests that you receive will vary and we cannot suggest fix-all answers for you. You know your product better than anyone, after all. Some requests will be simple and others will be complicated. To make your task easier, consider:
- Is your customer's question addressed in the Blender Market Buyer Help Desk? Take some time to get to know the existing customer resources so that you don't have to do extensive research to answer basic questions. Once you are familiar with the resources, you can paste the relevant link(s) into your response to the customer.
- Can you direct the customer to your product FAQs, a specific section of your documentation, or a video or file that will answer your question? If nothing exists in the documentation that can address their question, is their issue something worth adding to your documentation?
- Can you copy-paste the relevant information into your support request response? This—rather than redirecting the customer to another source of information—may be the most efficient way to respond to an easy-to-answer question.
- How many times have you received a similar question? Would it be helpful to your customers (and save you time) if you were to add it to your FAQs and highlight it in your documentation, or maybe add a link to a tutorial-type video in your product description?
Sometimes customers offer suggestions on how you can improve or change your products. You may or may not want their feedback, but the best practice is to start out by thanking them for their suggestion. Once you've done that, you can decide whether you want to say more. Maybe that feature is something that is already on your product roadmap, or it's something that you had not thought of before but that you would like to explore. Or maybe you have considered it but decided against it for some reason.
Whether or not you want to send a detailed response to your customers, remember that they have been thinking about your product and are interested in its success. Their care for your product should be met with politeness and recognition from you, even if it's just "Thank you for your feedback and for your support!".
Customer complaints are different from support requests in that they tend to be an airing of the customer's grievances without any expectation of problem resolution. They may often be made in public (e.g., in product reviews or social media comments), leaving you limited avenues to address them.
If complaints are made in public and not directly to you (via email or product support request), you can attempt to respond and, in your response, indicate that the customer can reach you through a support request to resolve the issue. Your best strategy is to be calm and reasonable.
If complaints are made to you directly, do your best to address them. Are the complaints valid or are they the result of the customer missing a key piece of information or not following directions? Either way, follow the recommendations listed above in the Support Requests section to aid the customer and turn their negative experience into a positive one.