Customer Support at Visual Composer and 10 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

Visual Composer Customer Support Case Study: 10 Ways to improve your customer experience

Did you know that up to 30% of all customers who choose premium WordPress products are motivated by access to premium support rather than features?

That means customer support can become a cornerstone for your success. All you have to do is to become good at it.

While it may sound plain simple, customer support goes far beyond the support portal and managing issues.

At Visual Composer, we have always kept the customer experience as our top priority.

We have been known for good customer service since the beginning, but, during the last year, we made some extra steps to go from good to excellent.

Sounds too generic?

As of today, our customer satisfaction rate is at 94% - a way above the industry average. We have plenty of customer reviews highlighting our customer service. The average ticket response time is under one hour. Our online chat response time is under 30 seconds.

While we are not Zappos, there are things we have discovered that work great for WordPress businesses and a freemium model economy.

In this article, I will share 10 things that have helped us to improve our customer service and can apply to your business.

Know your geography

Where are your customers located?

Do you serve North American market with your headquarters located in Europe? Well, we do.

Imagine that our active support hours would be aligned with our location rather than where our customers are.

I believe our average response time would jump from less than an hour to something close to 8 hours. A disaster if we talk about getting things done on a short notice.

Building your support shifts based on your customer location is a must.
Whatever your next steps for improving your customer service are, setting up a proper shift schedule is the first thing you should do.

Plus, it is really easy to measure. Pay attention to your initial response time and average resolve time - these metrics will help you to understand if and how you should move your support shifts.

Support your free users

A freemium business model goes hand in hand with the WordPress economy.

It is obvious that all WordPress products have free versions available. And, it is obvious that support is usually a part of the premium deal.

Nevertheless, free users deserve your attention.

You may want to use an argument about those 30% of users who go premium because of support. Yes, but what we found out, it has nothing to do with the fact that you help your free users out.

In fact, a good customer service for your free users tends to be a great motivator to consider going premium.

Just like you want to build a closer relationship with people you like - your customers want to build their business relationships with reliable and trustworthy partners.

Plus, if you have a product on WordPress official theme and plugin repository, you may want to keep all your support issues resolved (usually opened by free users) since it has an impact on your theme and plugin rankings.

Manage availability

There are rare cases when your support is available 24/7. It asks for huge investments and may be harmful to your budget sheet.
At the same time, there is nothing worse than opening an online chat and understanding that there is no one to answer your questions.

To avoid such a frustration, we decided to constantly enable/disable tools that we are not able to serve at the moment.

If you see an online chat available on our site - we are there to answer you.

The same principle applies to contact forms and other communication widgets.

And, don't be afraid to remove things - your clients are not that stupid and will find their way around to reach out. At the end of the day, they were smart enough to purchase your product, right?

Think one step ahead and get personal

Is there anything else I can help you with? That's the least you can do.

Always think of the next step your customer is willing to take.

Did you customer asked about how to set up a contact form to capture leads? Give him/her the answer and suggest additional points for optimizing it.

Taking an extra step may help your customers to solve their next issue before they even know it.

On your side, it will help you build a strong relationship for further communication. Once you are friends with your clients, you can always ask for a review or a quick test-drive of your beta version.

Don't be afraid to share your personal email. Let people know that you are easy to reach.

Get your team involved

Customer support is the responsibility of all your team members.

While the support team is at the frontline of customer care, every team member should dedicate time talking (and helping) your clients.

We get our development team to address advanced customer cases. Our marketing team is involved in the communication.

Are you the CEO of the company with lots on your shoulders? Well, I guess, talking to your clients is more important than planning a company-wide retreat in Bali (Michael, if you are reading this - there is nothing wrong about planning a retreat in Bali).

Analyze, review, and learn

Analyzing previous issues and changes is one of the most efficient ways to get better.

A regular team retrospective is a must if you want to make sure that there is a progress in place.

While the support job does not sound like an agile environment, you may still borrow rituals from Scrum or Kanban.

We have learned that weekly plannings work best for setting short-term goals related to our support objectives and help the team to stay synced.

At the same time, a quick retrospective and demo every second week helps us to look back on our progress and review interesting cases.

Offer multichannel support

There are people who prefer Facebook over email and contact form over the support portal.

Of course, your wish is to move them through your customer care pipeline but you can not force them.

It makes no sense to ask your customer to open a support ticket just to copy/paste text form their tweet or comment.

If you believe that the problem can be answered right away and does not involve any sensitive data - just do it. Both, your support team and clients, will spend less time on resolving the issue and avoid bureaucratic loop.

Give ownership

Every team should own resources within their scope of competence.

At Visual Composer, we decided to completely rebuild our help center while putting the support team in the very center of the process.

Who else can know better what your customers are constantly looking for? From design to initial structure and content - all was managed and build by our support team members.

The results are on the plate. The support team takes a full responsibility for the help center and constantly manage (update) content of the help center.

It is their owned media they are proud of and it is their tool that help them while working with our clients.

Support is not a ping pong game

WordPress is an ecosystem so this is rarely the case when your theme or plugin is the only thing installed on your customers' site.

Have you ever experienced the case when support is telling you that another plugin or hosting is causing the issue?

As a customer, I hate myself being ping ponged across different software vendors. I just want my problem to be fixed.

While you can not avoid that completely, it is always a good idea to look a bit deeper. Get in touch with other WordPress businesses, establish relationships, do an additional investigation.

It usually takes few minutes to write an email to our friends and partners from the WordPress space to make things moving forward.

Set objectives and key results (OKRs)

You may have awesome improvements, but without proper metrics in place you will miss the point. Measuring your success (or failure) is equally important.

In the support team, we stick to quarterly OKRs (objectives and key results) to help us track our success.

A good OKR tells you what you should focus on and motivates your team. The trick is to make sure that objectives are coming from the team rather than management.

As we define our objectives, we focus primarily on two things - customers and team.

A customer-oriented objective is all about satisfying the needs of our clients and the community.

The team-oriented objective is focused on making our support team happy. Happy people achieve great results - never underestimate it.


Changing processes comes at a cost and you will make mistakes along the way. We experimented a lot and, trust me, not everything worked out the way we wanted.

But, as Thomas Andrew Parker said, it don't matter if you do ten stupid things, as long as you do one smart one.

I gave you ten things so you'll have to figure another one on your own.

On a serious note, not everything from the list may work for your business but you'll never know unless you try.