The future of WordPress Support

Peerless WordPress Support.

We crafted our Peerless WordPress Support service at the end of 2013, using a decade of client-support learning. Since then we’ve enhanced and improved it immeasurably.

But the world doesn’t stop, and a healthy need for world-class WordPress support has driven lots of new players into our space. It’s got cluttered so its time to hit the turbo button and switch-up a gear.

The world is awash with digital disruption, new business models and emerging competitors. That in turn means the face of client support satisfaction is changing pretty quickly. We discovered that clients expect from their support provider:

  • A differentiated service that is cost effective
  • Pain-free client support
  • Preemptive and proactive engagement
  • 24 x 7 coverage – a way to report problems when they occur and not during the normal support window.
  • Agile execution and up-fixing
  • Use of emerging channels including Twitter to reduce friction
  • Personalised support interactions
  • Untethered service via mobile and cloud-based infrastructure
  • Client support as an integral part of an agency offering

This is very different from the traditional “Helpline” that used to be the standard used across the industry just a few short years ago. Efficiencies and the availability of other eco-systems has seen the death of the “support phone call”. In fact, in 2014, phone represented fewer than 5% of support requests.

Big changes. Heady improvements.

We’re committed to being the No.1 WordPress agency for support in the UK for the SME marketplace and that means we need to be on our toes and make sure we stay ahead of the competition. As a result, we’ve been testing support improvements and, from July 1st, we’re making some sweeping changes to how we provide support to make it faster, simpler and just plain better. We call it Peerless WordPress Support for a reason.

Twitter – a frictionless support experience. Since the start of this year we’ve been trialing accepting WordPress support requests via Twitter and it’s now our fastest growing channel, and also the one that generates the quickest response (on average). The trial is coming to an end and from July 1st we’ll accept Twitter support requests 24 x 7 from all Peerless WordPress Support Contract clients.

Dramatically Improved Response Times. Our standard terms of support says we’ll respond within 24hrs (1 working day). This was a good average for us in 2013 but since Summer last year we’ve been working to get that time down, and we’re pretty pleased to see it dipping into single digit hours. So, from July 1st we’ll be changing our support terms to commit to provide a response within 12 working hours.

Fixing it before it breaks. It makes sense to carry-out general maintenance on WordPress (specifically updates, security patches and core changes) and we’ve had an informal rule to patch sites as and when we’re doing other work. This has pre-empted and avoided lots of security and capacity issues so this service is now being formally added to our offering. Every site will be checked for the availability (and relevance) of updates and these will be queued into our helpdesk automatically.

Knowledge is power. Support will start to move away from being a conventional dialog-based experience and start to become a cognitive engagement and this will require a whole raft of new tools. Currently support teamies rely on knowledge bases to reliably fix client problems, but knowledge management is difficult to use, update and has little context. We are committed to look at ways to remove these issues and explore cognitive engagement solutions — interactive solutions that use AI to collect information and automatically build models of understanding and inference, and communicate in natural ways. It’s an exciting time for support, not just in the WordPress space.

Our continuous desire to be the best, peerless, and our client feedback is driving us in directions that we could never have seen just 2 short years ago. We’ll continue to evolve and improve and welcome feedback and/or suggestions on how we could do a better job.

By Martin Dower, CEO