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Jordan Miller
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Improve your client relationships by offering a public support community


Front-facing support creates visible opportunities for clients to find answers to both frequently asked and uncommon questions. 

Earlier this year, Invision Community lifted the veil off support, shifting from a private, 1-on-1, email-driven medium to open topics in our community support forum

We found ourselves answering the same questions because we hadn’t fully leaned into community support, which also gives our existing clients opportunities to weigh in with solutions. 

While we still do convert a chunk of community support questions to a private ticket, most issues are resolved for all to see. This is important to note because it's created an invaluable resource for others who may be searching for similar answers. 

We have:

  • Improved support staff time management
  • Improved retention
  • Improved support response times for clients
  • Built a resource library and knowledge base
  • Forged stronger connections


A few key stats in our support areas: 

  • 71% solved (+80%) in 3 months
  • 9 hours is our average time to find a solution (50% faster) in 3 months
  • 14% of topics became a ticket
     

Feel free to mirror what we do for your own community! This is done through four key steps: 

 

1) Identify, 2) Assess, 3) Execute, 4) Follow up

 

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1) Identify:

The first step is to identify the client’s problem or concerns. Our team keeps an eye on the support forums and anticipate new topics are incoming. 

We are equipped with any stored access details, and cloud access details, to login to a client’s community and take a look if needed (with their consent). This can aid us in identifying the issue.


2) Assess:

After assessing the issue and gathering information, we put on our critical thinking caps. One of several things may happen:

  • A solution is provided
  • More information may be requested
  • A ticket can be created if needed for more sensitive issues, or items needing more detailed review

Sometimes our support team needs to investigate an issue further. That requires us to take things off the community and open a specialized ticket for our tier two support team to take a closer look. 


3) Execute

Now that we’ve created a path towards finding a solution, we get to work. 

Each ticket can result in one of three outcomes: 

  • It's resolved
  • It needs to be further investigated
  • Or, it’s a bug


Bugs

Hey, they happen. If an item is determined to be a bug, that bug is also added as a follow up item and the topic is marked as a known issue.

When we follow up on a bug item, we go through a few processes. 

Our developers will work through these bugs to get them resolved, in order of priority/severity. Once done, they are reviewed and added to a new release.

Fun fact: Every week, we list out all of the platform updates and fixes in our Community Manager's Lounge!

As items are fixed, our support staff will pick up on this through the followup process. The ticket will be changed from “known issue” to “in future release” to show its status. The follow up item status is also changed to show it being in the next release.

Upon release of a new version, the above items are gone through to mark them as solved, then we inform the client that the issue is resolved.

We also have weekly development meetings to discuss items with developers, as well as weekly support staff meetings to discuss issues with any support processes for that week.


4) Followup

Following up with a client after we found a solution helps us stay connected to our community and improves retention.

We like to check back in a few days, a week, or even more depending on what the nature of the issue was. The aim is to provide a working solution to the client then ensure that, well… it worked! 

If an item is escalated, we have an internal follow up system that allows us to keep an eye on your ticket.

 

Shifting the way you handle support, from behind-the-scenes to center stage, has been one of the most profound and rewarding changes to Invision Community. Not only is our support community a wealth of knowledge and saves our clients time, but it also creates trust with our clients because we’re held accountable. 

How do you handle support in your community? Drop us a line in the comments; we’d love to hear from (and see) you!

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The community I manage has mainly been a discussion forum. But since there are these days so many options to just discuss (Social Media etc.), I gradually changed it into a Support Community. 

While the community is still in a "change-process" and I still need to adapt a few things to make it more look like a Support Forum, I think it was a change in the right direction. 

The feature and function I love most: "Topic solved. Go to the solution...". 🙂

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54 minutes ago, evcom said:

The community I manage has mainly been a discussion forum. But since there are these days so many options to just discuss (Social Media etc.), I gradually changed it into a Support Community. 

While the community is still in a "change-process" and I still need to adapt a few things to make it more look like a Support Forum, I think it was a change in the right direction. 

The feature and function I love most: "Topic solved. Go to the solution...". 🙂

Appreciate you weighing in! Love that feature as well. Has the experience been good for you thus far?

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Does that mean Commerce renewal will go down? i.e. from 45$? Initially when product was started it was told this application will have priority support, high priority fixes and hence the higher renewal fees.

So now if users are going to ask on community forum first, their support timeline will be delayed and/or regular support. 

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