Buyers, Help us Help You.

Marketplace author CodingJack recently posted this in a thread on the Marketplace forums. We thought it was important and an interesting read for both buyers and authors, so we’ve put it up here for everyone to read. Let us know what you think!
Most authors know that to be successful on the marketplaces quality support is extremely important. Because of this, when someone has a problem with one of our products we want to fix it immediately because:

1) We want to make sure future buyers don’t have the same problem
2) We take pride in producing high quality files and bugs are simply not acceptable

I can’t speak for other authors, but if a buyer has a problem I haven’t solved before, I always look into it for free. Because bugs are a part of life and you just never know about something until you’ve thoroughly researched it. Unfortunately, researching issues can take a good deal of time. Especially when you are communicating with buyers several times a day.

From my experience, a good deal of issues resolved are customization mistakes. Sometimes my first thought is “why didn’t they read the help file” or “why didn’t they validate their xml”. But then I remind myself that we all make mistakes, it’s just human nature. Unfortunately, researching customer issues can sometimes eat up a good portion of the day, and herein lies the challenge.

As a buyer, there are a few things you can do to help authors give great support:

1) Explain your problem in detail.

This isn’t always easy when English isn’t your first language. But just do your best to be as descriptive as possible when writing for support.

2) Use one source of communication.

Often customers will request support in both the file’s comments and through email. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but because of the volume of questions many authors get, sometimes we have to reference previous parts of the conversation. And when dialogue is taking place in two different places this can lead to confusion.

3) Show us an online example.

Often we can find a problem extremely fast if we can visually see the problem.

4) Send us a complete zip of your current files.

Sometimes when I ask for this I only get a few files and as a result have to merge files with the original source. The problem is that this takes extra time and leaves room for error. When we have a complete zip of everything (including all source files ), we can start testing in your environment immediately and avoid file merging errors.

So lets work together. Help make support easier for us, and the quality of support will rise as a result. :)

Written by CodingJack.