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How do you see the ideal technical support? Rate Topic   - - - - -

Poll: How do you see the ideal technical support? (3 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you see the ideal technical support?

  1. 1. Issue based payed support service(point system). (16 votes [14.81%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.81%

  2. 2. Support service payed by period. (27 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  3. 3. Free support service(to the prejudice of efficiency :) ). (49 votes [45.37%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.37%

  4. 4. Other(feel free to suggest your thoughts). (16 votes [14.81%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.81%

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  • ZulloP
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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:07 PM #21

I think that the more options the cart users are given, the better for the users and CS-Cart.

I personally would like the following support options in order of preference:

1.) free support (up to x number of incidents per repeating time period)
example: x free incidents per year

2.) paid support per period (after free incidents are used)
example: x dollars per year/quarter/month

3.) paid support per incident with a varied price structure for various support needs (as an alternative to per period support)
example: x dollars per incident of class A / y dollars per incident of class B / etc.


This sounds really great...

 
  • zoom4267
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Posted 28 May 2006 - 01:01 PM #22

i know people love the free thing but compainies need to make money to pay thier staff ect, free support for a beginning period of time is nice for help in set up, then charge an amount after that i think is reasonable. i have yet to get my hands dirty enough but from what i hear cscart is the best choice and im glad i made it. im not to fond of the waiting over the weekend untill monday for help but oh well. if its as good as i hear im not worried.

lisa

 

Posted 02 September 2006 - 10:42 AM #23

why do so many people have problems skinning their store? What is it you are tying to do that you need help with?

\

For the most part.....
compernicus said exactly what I would prefer when being charged.

In relation to the various skill levels of CS-Cart users.
Some are more graphical then programmer.
This is apparent when installing something such as a visitors log by zardos.
It was very easy for me. however someone that cannot 'guess' someone elses code the skill level creates a new benchmark.
With enough information from the forum I "don't" have to contact support for most cases.

Should I want different improvements or wish to rant about features I know where to go. Support is exactly what it should be.. Support is supporting
not doing it for you. People that require HEAVY assistance in most cases can justify an expenditure. Personally I've posted roughly 4/5 tickets to the support desk last month.
My support ceases either now or last week :D

I've only just finished working of a demo store so that any improvements can be installed with minimal downtime in the future (sandbox) whether 3rd party or otherwise (CS-Mall is next)

Like most people I've only recently started working on the store AFTER the 30 day period. I'ld love a few 'freebies' every month. say 2, any more then charged.

I should mention that I've forked out $180 in AUD (Australian) for CS-Cart so I'm expecting that it's to be worth my money. after all there is no refunds.

Thanks to Vladmir for the thread. Goes to show how personalised this place can be. Sure beats X-cart.

 
  • Tail's
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Posted 02 September 2006 - 11:22 AM #24

Mike pointed out the 'how-to-movies', I don't think theres any reason not to give the customers as many tools and information as possible so that they can solve their problems themselves. Everybody wins.

With experience and careful tracking, over time, the support team will find the issues most common to customers and they can document all the tricks, tips, guides properly and just put it out there for all to see. Then users will become cs-cart savy and customers will start supporting each other, vis a vis this forum for instance.

But when I customer does directly ask for help and information, don't just point them to a bunch of pdf files.

Otherwise, periodic support is the least stressful I think. I don't think i need 90 days from install. 60 days would be nice. Hard to blame someone else for not timing your purchase properly to take advantage of the free support, but from a business point of few, cs-cart wouldn't want a customer to delay a purchase just because of that, so it shouldnt be hard to start the free support period after the very first support question they get? (be clear about that before the person asks the question :)).

 
  • The_Store_Connection
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Posted 08 September 2006 - 02:41 AM #25

I think it should all be free! I’m joking of course!

There are a lot of good suggestions here, and also many good points.

I definitely agree that the initial support should be extended beyond 30 days, perhaps to 60 days.

I also wouldn’t want to buy support in a block of time to get help with one support issue. I do think there is a way to offer both though. I don’t see any reason why support couldn’t be sold both on a per issue basis and in blocks of time.

Why not design it like a wholesale / retail product?

Buy support in blocks of time for x amount of dollars (wholesale)
Buy support on a per issue basis (retail)

I know that if I have a project and it will require more knowledge and skill then I have, then I would buy 30 days worth of support. However, if I just have a question I need answered I would rather buy support on a per issue basis.

I’m new here and I have not yet used the support services, but I know that rather then go round and round on an issue with support I would like a quote when I contact them for support to perform the work needed once the initial support issue is understood. Then apply the support fee to the service fee as long as the customer doesn’t go further into the support process. If support was provided, and then the customer wants CS to do the work well you got the support that you paid for.

If the cost to hire CS to do the job is less then the cost of support what’s the point of paying for support?

Thanks,
John

 

Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:14 AM #26

Purchasing blocks of time seems like it would be the most fair. Once I did call for technical support from Borland and I had to give my credit card number. I was billed at $1 USD per minute and after several minutes, the support person couldn't figure it out. It ended up being a total waste of money. The best way for support is to post your question to this forum. If you can't get it answered here, then it might be time to submit a support ticket. As an example, I posted a question to the forum about not being able to add products. Later, I posted a support ticket and technical support work on the problem. Although technical support wasn't able to determine the cause of the problem, I did and posted the solution to the forum. I think as the knowedge base and user base of this forum grows, most support answers will be found here. From my experience with other PHP products, most support issues are installation and configuration related and are usually solved by asking other forum members or reading the manual.

Larry
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Ubuntu 14.04

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  • arlen
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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:16 AM #27

Old thread, but I want to voice my opinion.

To start with, I'll tell you that my host highly discouraged me from choosing CS-Cart (among others) due to the short 30 day initial support period. I'm sure they aren't the only host that will suggest their customers find other solutions when support seems minimal (at least on the surface).

I've looked at and tested a number of carts over the past couple months. Overall, though there are some things that I think need addressed, CS-Cart looks to me like the best core system.

I'm a little frustrated that some of my pre-sales questions have gone unanswered. I asked a lot of questions, I'll admit that, but they were all capability questions and should have been answered. I do understand the CS-Cart staff are all busy trying to get 1.3.4 done. If a well developed FAQ was available, I probably could have avoided asking at least 1/2 of my questions. If the forums were more active and more accessible to potential users, I'm sure at least half of what was left could have been answered. Instead, I bought on good faith and the enthusiasm I read in the forums.

I agree that the initial support should be longer. I think 90 days sounds pretty reasonable, but longer would be nice. There is no way I can install, learn the system, build a store and thoroughly test it in 30 days. I expect I'll be starting all over again about the time my free month expires because the new release will be available by then.

After the initial period, I agree with compernicus that a range of solutions should be made available to choose from depending on your needs. I think current costs for a month are a lot to pay if you only have a few questions. I think the opportunity to buy in smaller time frames or by incident would be useful, as long as Support is responsive. I like the idea of a few questions free either monthly or annually. I also agree that if the answer to a question is "it doesn't do that" then the customer should probably not be charged for asking.

I really want to emphasize the importance of supporting this forum as others have mentioned. CS-C staff should be more active if at all possible. There really should be NO questions left unanswered on the forum. The more accessible and active it becomes, the more questions answered, the lower the burden on the help desk will become.

The manual is a good overview, but needs fleshing out. Also, please take the pre-sales questions and most significant forum posts you've received to date and put together a well organized FAQ. It will save you and us tons of time and effort in the long run. It should probably be a searchable part of this forum. I'd much rather read and figure it out on my own or ask here than submit a ticket and wait 24 hours, then respond and wait another 24 hours, etc. The fact that we work on different schedules can't be helped, but it is cumbersome, and the manual, FAQ and forum will lessen that impact.

Thanks for asking BTW, it is appreciated.

 
  • SWS
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Posted 03 November 2006 - 12:44 AM #28

I also know its an old post but want to join in anyway..

I run, sell, support & develop a software package for garages in the UK
I find that most of my customers are just starting out on computers
so decided to offer free support for the lifetime of my company.
Support is available by phone, email & using my public forum...

Apart from the fact that people are more inclined to buy, knowing they can call me without paying ridiculous "per call" charges or £1.00 per email (I wish)What I have found is that my forum is the most used of these options..
I actively get involved and respond to all posts on the forum & because of this anybody with the same issues already has the answer.

Customers tend to search the forum first, before calling or emailing just incase somebody else already had the issue.


A well organised forum with active CS employees and as mentioned above a more in-depth faq system would probably cut down support tickets drastically. (sorry for repeating above but its my view also)

In the first day of purchasing the software I had to create a support ticket to find out about nochex integration, a simple question which could have been answered in a faq on the forum instead of taking up precious time of the CS team.

P,S Out of the paid support options, I would prefer to pay by period, however 3 months is not really enough unless they anticipate problems in a short amount of time which I doubt very much..

I use Kayako E-Support and pay for a 6 month support licence, to date I have filed 2 tickets with them in 1 year but its nice to know I can when I desperatly need to....

My 2 Cents (or should that be 2 pence, since im UK based)

 
  • seattle
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Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:52 AM #29

I'm new here. I started the thread in the "Why CS-Cart" called "http://forum.cs-cart.com/showthread.php?t=1847 as an anonymous user. I have just purchased CS-Cart and installed it on a VPS server.

Coming from X, I really didn't mind the point system. I think it was a fair way to charge for jobs. But as others mentioned...it was HOW they determined the number of points to charge for a job. In many cases, it was ridiculous. For example, we wanted a mod that would copy the billing address to shipping address. A lot of these "mods" should either be part of the cart or given out free to extend the functionality.

I think this issue about support really comes down to the type of business model...i.e. how does CS-Cart earn a living?

With many carts, they charge a hosting fee per month - you don't own the cart and your fees are used by the company to improve the cart, run the business, etc.

CS-Cart and other carts which sell their source code attract a different crowd. People like us like to get our hands a little dirty. We like setting up our own servers, databases, customizing the heck out of the cart.

If you want FREE support, then you've found it here on this forum.

I believe if CS-Cart wants to stand out while still earning a decent living, the following should be enacted:

1. Have a time-based level of support (month-to-month, 6 months, 1 year, etc) with discounts for longer terms.
-With this scenario, you have to define your SLA. How many 911 tickets can anyone log in a given time period for example. The support shouldn't be too expensive either. You know how HP charges $88 for a printer and then $50 for an ink cartridge! Better to price the cart higher up front and lower the support costs (see #3)

2. Have live-chat (tech support) available to subscribers

3. Charge more for the cart. $195 may sound like a lot but if you're running a business that is dirt CHEAP. There are many other carts out there charging hundreds of dollars per month for SHARED-hosting and you don't get source code! With CS-Cart, you can host it on a dedicated Linux server for $100 / month.

How much for the cart? I think when things are more stable, anything under $500 would be a good buy. This is an estimate based on a lot of other carts I've tried and tested. Believe me, I've tried a lot! Sure there are a lot of other carts out there but few are using Smarty (Smarty templates rock!) and the potential for CS-Cart is enormous.

4. CS-Cart also needs to capitalize on other services. Support is only one channel. They have to distinguish between support (i.e. something is broken - I need help) and other services such as customization (i.e. I want this functionality); design (i.e. selling skins, custom designs); hosting (i.e. create their own hosting packages with service contracts built in).

CS-Cart the product / company is fairly new. It will take time to build a solid support system. The key is to build strong relationships with customers and create new ones with affiliates such as hosting companies and other vendors. This will allow the company to persist and grow which benefits cart owners.

 

Posted 01 February 2007 - 01:49 PM #30

I'd prefer Support service payed by period.
www.mmadiscount.com

 
  • truem
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Posted 11 August 2007 - 11:03 PM #31

make the 30 days into 60 or 90

well the 30 days aren't even 30 days since cs cart is their 5 days a week not 7

then give the user a choice

30 days for $ amount like $30 or $40 range

1 incident for a fixed $ amount like 5$ or $9


I have had the cart for 30 days and i am now getting use to it

 
  • pbannette
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Posted 11 August 2007 - 11:33 PM #32

My experiance with carts is through my web hosts. I have three other carts, one live, two demo. I own one and lease two.
All my support is "free" after considering the hosting fee. (about 35.00 per month for each one). All the support is via email AND phone.
My main site has live phone support 12 hours a day, on Sat and Sunday-4 hours each day. Email respons is about 1/2 hour 24 hours a day. And I think I even called them on New Year's day.
I very rarely had to deal with the cart vendor directly for support.
I am trying to get my current host to offer and then support cs-cart, and then I will have unlimited free support.
If this does not happen, I don't mind having to pay for additional support, ie one month at a time.
I would like to see everyone to get at least 15 day free support when a new version comes out as part of the free upgrade. I usually only have a problem when a new version comes out then OK after that.
My CS-Cart host seems to have good response via email only, no phone, and not much support past installation.
The CS-Cart itself is reletively inexpensive. The developers need to get a reasonable return to continue development. Charging for support is one way.
Bob

 
  • argentice
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Posted 12 August 2007 - 09:21 AM #33

Free support for 10 incidents. Then paid for after than.
Rob

 
  • KesslerCrane
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Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:27 PM #34

It's an old discussion, but want to add my input.

I think the support solution could be tiered, similar to how my hosting company does it.

When you buy the software, you are given a certain number of support tickets free. I like this better than a period model, because who knows how long after purchase or events that you will need to engage CS-Cart support.

I think there could also be certain issues that would be free of change. Especially in the areas that could offer opportunities to increase revenue for CS-Cart. Perhaps there are questions about adding on services or additional licenses.

Model would be something like this.

Purchase cart w/ 5 free support tickets (or whatever #)
Additional incident tickets can be pre-paid individually or in bulk, with a discount, depending on how many you purchase at a time.

As mentioned by others before, a better FAQ system, as well as a good Knowledge Base, & improved documentation would decrease the need for tech support tickets.

I would hope that the tech support model is there for the customers and not as a means for revenue, which it appears to be, by the current billing model.

I would prefer to see a slightly higher price to purchase the cart if revenue is needed, and a better customer service model. A good product and excellent customer service is what makes a business successful.

 
  • arlen
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Posted 04 December 2007 - 04:24 PM #35

I would hope that the tech support model is there for the customers and not as a means for revenue, which it appears to be, by the current billing model.

I agree with this sentiment, though I do understand that the support team's time and expertise is valuable and they do deserve some reasonable compensation for their help.

As mentioned by others before, a better FAQ system, as well as a good Knowledge Base, & improved documentation would decrease the need for tech support tickets.

Unfortunately, if the support model is largely considered a means of revenue, this may never happen, as the more free info available the less potential revenue. *

When I purchased CS-Cart a bit over a year ago, I was incredibly cost sensitive ... I am less so now, but am still very conscious of getting the most for my money. Support seemed to me to be very costly as my questions were occasional and very simple issues that I felt should have been handled via a knowledgebase of some sort as they seemed the sort of thing many would have asked before me. I still feel strongly that a FAQ needs to be developed covering the newbie-level questions, as many beginners are almost certainly not earning anything from their shops if they've even launched a shop yet.

Thru experimentation and avoiding paid support I've learned a lot, which has been very valuable experience and has given me a good foundation / basic working knowledge of CS-Cart / PHP / Smarty Templates. Now my questions are far more complex, and support makes much more sense to me.

I am getting close to the end of my 1st month of paid support. In all honesty, it paid for itself with the first issue in terms of "head-scratching time". Though the time I spent finding my way around CS-Cart was very valuable as it got me 'up to speed' enough I could make significant modifications to templates, the time saved by asking support has been equally valuable. I'm going to take a short break for the holidays, but I intend to sign up for 3 more months just after the first of the year to cover final issues and to ensure the transition from my current site to CS-Cart goes smoothly. I know it will be worth the money. After that I expect I'll only need occassional help and a by-ticket support plan would be very desirable however I expect that would cost me more in the end than just buying another month of support.

FYI - support is basically limited to a few types of issues:
- explaining functionality
- explaining minor modifications to template files
- fixing bugs

This is probably as it should be, you can't expect support to customize your shop for you. You do have to be very conscious of how you ask a question as if a change requires any additional PHP coding or significant change in functionality your question will not be answered and you will be referred to their quote department. This happened to me a lot until I figured out how to ask questions and what not to ask. Don't ask too much in one ticket either, or you'll likely only get a partial answer.

Overall I am very pleased with the support provided, they have saved me hours and hours of head scratching which is well worth the $45 I paid.

* I do strongly feel that a FAQ needs to be developed covering most-common questions, and have very limited hopes that the CS-team will commit to doing this any time soon. It would be very helpful in the mean time if we all would post fixes to issues that are probably common for beginners when we resolve them for ourselves or when they are asked on the forum. In time, perhaps a FAQ can be developed from that.

</long-winded-post>
1.3.5 SP4, and stickin' with it till 2.x is finally stable

 
  • clips
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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:31 AM #36

* I do strongly feel that a FAQ needs to be developed covering most-common questions, and have very limited hopes that the CS-team will commit to doing this any time soon. It would be very helpful in the mean time if we all would post fixes to issues that are probably common for beginners when we resolve them for ourselves or when they are asked on the forum. In time, perhaps a FAQ can be developed from that.

Although the FAQ areas are not always used by end users, it would be great to have some of the many, many questions we ask to be in a FAQ area. Not only may it help us be able to solve more of our own issues, but it would save CS support time.

Another reason for a FAQ is because I have already been told that CS does not "support" 3rd party changes and those that are posted in the forum. If CS would provide some place to help us correct some of the issues then we could know we have accurate, tested information...not to mention a listing of which release it applies to, and other needed info.

I do know that it would have been great to have a FAQ area during the holidays or even over the weekend when CS does not reply to questions very quickly. It may help us resolve issues on our own.

Thanks,
Clips

 

Posted 06 February 2008 - 05:54 AM #37

I Think First We Need Better Support.
We Are Just Moving Our Store To Cscart 1 Month in.
We Encountered A Secure Links Error,To Make A Long Story Short It Was Networksolutions That Filled Out Our SSL Certificate Wrong.But Last Week Our Tech Support Said They Fixed The Problem,Not Realizing That Networksolutions Had Been To Blame.So There Was Actually No CSCART Problem,And The Codes She Changed To Fix This Problem That Didn't Exist Took Not Only Our Shopping Cart System Offline But Also May Admin URL So Now I Cant Even Get Onto My Own Software.We Don't Even Know At This Point What To Do As There Is No Contact Number And Tech Support Sends You A Message Every Couple Of Days.
We Are Going On 2 Weeks Of Downtime And Whatever She Changed To Take Our Site Down She Has Not Fixed ;(

 
  • cynthia
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Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:49 PM #38

I like the vBulletin (the forum software that this forum is using) support system. A license purchase allows free upgrades. Support is $30.00 per year which gives you full community forum access and unlimited help desk type support from the staff. Response to your ticket is very quick and if necessary they will look at your admin panel and assist directly with setup and changes needed. I would like to see something like that here at CS-Cart.
Using CS-Cart 1.3.5 sp3

 
  • gpro
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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:35 PM #39

I like the vBulletin (the forum software that this forum is using) support system. A license purchase allows free upgrades. Support is $30.00 per year which gives you full community forum access and unlimited help desk type support from the staff. Response to your ticket is very quick and if necessary they will look at your admin panel and assist directly with setup and changes needed. I would like to see something like that here at CS-Cart.


Agreed. :cool:

 
  • clips
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Posted 29 February 2008 - 04:52 AM #40

I know that CS has experienced some growth, but the one thing I have noticed over the last year plus is that even though I pay for 30 days of support, many times CS will take 2-3 business days to answer request.

At the very least, if we are going to pay for the support for now, we should always get a response back within 24 hours. If CS is going to be serious about their cart and support users that are serious about their business they are going to have to answer "paid support" questions faster.

Thanks,
Clips