Alex King, founder of Crowd Favorite and one of the pioneers in WordPress themes, plugin development has announced a new service called WordPress Help Center. Jeff has already mentioned about this on WPCandy and has come up with few wonderful points that Alex will surely be listening to. Here’s what Jeff (his interview with us) thinks about this service -
While I like the idea behind the WordPress HelpCenter, I wonder why we need one in the first place. Has the WordPress.org support forums which are supposed to be the go to place for support become such a pain for end users that it would be much simpler to just pick up the phone and give these guys a call?
So will the HelpCenter knock other forms of support out of the water? I don’t think so given their inherent limitations. However, I do think Alex King is on the right track creating a service where people can simply pick up the phone, answer a commonly asked question, and provide immediate satisfaction.
I completely agree with the points that Jeff has made however, I do have my opinion and some ideas that may attract someone else to start the idea at a larger or a bigger scale.
My thoughts on WordPress Help Center
Honestly, I liked the idea of WordPress help center – while most of the professional bloggers have already done and read about WordPress there are many bloggers who really don’t care about all that and want quick solutions as they want to stay focused on their writing and believe in things that work out of the box.
Other than that, there are situations where one may not want to get his hands dirty, I remember an incident where I merged two WordPress blogs of mine and wanted to ensure that the search engine should not penalize my domain and that all the indexed pages of one blog should get replaced by the new blog’s URL. The solution was pretty simple, however I literally spent more than 5 hrs. to find out that solution. If WordPress Help Center can help me get these kind of solutions in less than 30 mins., I’ll be much more happy to spend my money on this service! While everything is there, I’m sure there will many businesses who are using WordPress for their blogs and they may not have a dedicated IT team to support them, they’ll definitely find this service pretty useful.
Shortcomings of the service & few suggestions
I’m not sure if Alex knew about the fact that a call from Skype to a toll-free number in US & UK is completely free of charge from any part of the world. So, he could have covered a bigger userbase if they would have used a toll-free number instead of a local US number.
Another point that limits this service is that it is not available for 24×7. I can understand this step, as this is just a new initiative and the business can be scaled depending on the demand of the service. I think it was a wise decision in a way. And who knows, that someone in other parts of the world may be interested in starting up a service like this or may want to partner with Alex to offer the support at times other than 9am-7pm Pacific time.
What do you think about having such a service? Do you think that it can be a viable business model or you think that the support on the web through forums, emails etc is enough? Please share your thoughts with us.