Providing quality support is what distinguishes a great WordPress host from just another WordPress host.

Being responsive to customer needs and requests is what moves the needle from a good business to a great business. One that generates positive reviews, testimonials, and those all important customer referrals. On today’s podcast, Dustin Meza from WP Engine talks about offering quality support, dealing with difficult clients, and WordCamp US in Nashville.

Tune in for this and more on this week’s WP Elevation Podcast!

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Show Notes

Dustin is the director of customer experience operations at WP Engine. He has seen the business grow exponentially since starting there four years ago as the 47th employee! He leads two teams that focus on customer experience and delivering quality support. It’s his goal to make sure that their customers have the best and most seamless experience possible within the platform.

People create websites to take their message to the world. They don’t create websites to get bogged down in backups, updates, and other maintenance duties. Dustin reminds his customer experience teams to understand how important the website is to the customer when it comes to sharing their message. It’s easy to forget that this website may be what puts food on the client's table, and how serious it can be when the site is down.

He encourages his team to be empathetic and respond quickly to help people in any way they can. Building the client relationship through support is especially important. One common challenge support people deal with is when site updates break something on the website.

Dustin offers great tips on staying on top of things and avoiding possible issues that can happen when updating WordPress and plugins in this interview.

Providing Quality Support and Proactive Website Updating

  1. Subscribe to the releases section of the WordPress.org blog
  2. Familiarise yourself with release dates and what's being launched
  3. Understand the new WordPress changes
  4. Then apply those changes back to your site and the plugins you use

Reminding the support team that they are the experts and the only ones who can help the customer keeps the team grounded when dealing with the more difficult customers. In providing quality support, the team has a responsibility to assist customers in the most empathetic way possible by owning the situation, using a clear voice and remaining calm.

Bringing communication and calmness to the situation is a must!

It’s human nature to match communication, so by being cool and calm can help encourage panicky customers to remain cool and calm. With other customers, support is encouraged to let them talk it out. Support can then accept the blame and own the fact that a mistake has been made. This technique can diffuse the entire situation. Telling the upset customer that they are right and that what has happened is not acceptable makes it is easier to move forward and deal with the issues.

Dustin moved to Nashville about a year and a half ago. As someone already involved in the WordPress community, he knew about WordCamp Nashville, and he knew he wanted to get involved.

You’ll want to listen around the 15-minute mark when Dustin shares how he was selected to be one of the organizers of the event.

Organizers are planning for about 2500 attendees and are in the process of speaker selection for the Camp that is scheduled for 1 – 3 December 2017. They are basing their selections on the survey results of last year and what people really want to hear. There will also be a focus on new and hot topics that may not have even existed last year…

  • Navigating from a developer to an agency.
  • Entrepreneurship and helping freelancers to expand their businesses by “standing on the shoulders of giants” and learning how successful agencies have already done it.
  • Headless WordPress (which decouples the front and back end by using an API to connect the backend WordPress data with any type of front end). This opens up possibilities for enterprise.

The technology is fun, but the people are the backbone of the event. Dustin is excited about allowing communities to interact and all of the great things to come!

Tune in to hear all about it in this engaging chat between Kristina and Dustin.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Kristina Romero is a website developer and consultant working for the last 8 years through her company KR Media & Designs (KRMD). As a front-end developer in the Washington D.C area, she’s had the opportunity to work with the Coca-Cola Company and Food Network on various WordPress projects. Kristina is proud to be a WP Elevation Business Coach, a mompreneur and passionate advocate for WordPress.