If you’re a dedicated customer of WooThemes, then chances are you’ve heard about the premium WordPress theme company’s scheduled move to Zendesk and Forum relaunch. In a November 20th blog post, Co-Founder Adii Pienaar shed new light on exactly “when” we can expect the changes to go live.
“We’ve been working with Zendesk to set up our new customer portal and are making good progress,” Pienaar noted. “All of our internal setup tweaks has been completed and there’s only 2 tasks left now: implementing our branded design & importing our old forum data. These final 2 tasks are now with Zendesk’s team and we expect an ETA of around 2 / 3 weeks before we’re ready to roll.”
He also added that the “new Community Forum has been set up and will be running as soon as we go live. It will also include all of the old forum data, which we have exported and cleansed from our old forum.”
Support Team Growth, Theme Documentation
With the move to Zendesk comes the hire of two new Support Team members, Daniel Espinoza and Gerhard Potgieter. Additional support requests are expected to load up, and Pienaar emphasized that the two newest hires are “well into their learning curve already,” which should help reduce WooThemes’ support response time greatly.
A new theme documentation process will be put through a trial run in upcoming weeks and months, as new products are released. Documentation is expected to be refined in many areas, but we’ll likely have to wait and see what the new download descriptions and explanations have to offer before passing judgement on this new feature.
As one would expect, there will be plenty of kinks to work out regardless of how much preparation goes into “gearing up” for the major overhaul. Moving from one support platform to another (from UserVoice to Zendesk, in this case) is never easy and requires a reasonable amount of time for adjustment.
Pienaar alluded to this in his post, asking for fans’ patience during the process. “We’ve earmarked a handful of improvements that we can bring to WooThemes.com, our processes and overall your experience with WooThemes. We are working hard to build up a bit of a release backlog of new products, which will see us focus most of our time in December & January on fixing bugs, attending to old feature requests and just making things better,” he said.
Finally, the Co-Founder told readers, “I know that it seems that the wheels are turning slowly, but we’re working incredibly hard and internally it feels like we are picking up momentum (with the recent improvements to our WooCommerce / business themes being a highlight). We’re looking forward to our move to Zendesk and also the resurrection of the forum, which will hopefully see us ending 2012 on a high.”
WooThemes Customers Ready For Change
Judging from the replies posted below the official blog post, WooThemes customers are welcoming the changes. “This all sounds positive. The documentation on extensions could also stand to be more thorough. The return of the forums should decrease the number of support tickets, too. And perhaps if the new support ninjas could get on to my pair of 36-hour old tickets, I could get a response before my site goes live in two days, which would be awesome…,” said one customer who goes by the name of “Peter.”
Two comments were made by current customers who have overdue support requests registered, which is something that unfortunately has become a frequent occurrence over the past year due to the WooThemes support system. If all goes according to plan, subscriber frustration will be held to a bare minimum once the unfamiliarity issues have been resolved in February 2013.