Know of any or interested in self help / guided troubleshooting plugin for wordpress?

(Daniel Iser) #1

I am looking to add some self help to reduce our growing support demands. Something akin to Microsofts self help that has been around for years. Something that would come along the lines of asking questions, providing troubleshooting steps, asking if that solved the issue, if not taking them to another step.

If there is no available solution I may create one if there is a viable interest, possibly premium only for a small fee. Or free with a pro version using Freemius possibly.

In any case if you know of an existing one great, if not what would be on your wishlist.

(Jeffrey Carandang) #2

You might wanna check SIdekick :


(Daniel Iser) #3

@phpbits - That is pretty cool and I will definitely check out their developer program, but our docs on that kind of stuff is pretty solid and a lot of it is linked to from the relevant dash with inline contextual help already. Benefits of having 90k installs and having to deal with the growing demand for support.

We just released our latest version which was 90% focused on support reduction with built in JS debugging tools (popups use a lot of JS), an in dash KB & support section (via secure iframe) etc.

So I’m not necessarily looking for our users to get help doing setup stuff. We are talking pure troubleshooting, checking browser console for instance for JS errors. The goal being to insert this before our support form can be used. Currently they have to do a doc search as you can see here, before they can submit a new support request, but I want to make that a bit more intuitive and interactive.

As such I would start with something similar to the type used by Microsoft KB like these:

Mine would be something like “Select the statement that best describes your problem: My Popups won’t open, My popups open on every page, every time I refresh, or don’t go away. etc”

Depending on your choice it would take you down a path of tests & solutions. This is no different than what we do in support tickets already, just before they actually get to us.

My goal would actually be able to set it up so that I can pass what options they chose to a Ninja Form or similar to be passed to our support system so we know what they have “supposedly” done already. But that’s a pipe dream for now. Putting it on the feature list though ;).

(Daniel Iser) #4

@phpbits - Do you know the deal with sidekick? From the looks of it they charge users $5/mo to use it, and then also turn around and charge developers $499/yr to create and publish videos with it? Shouldn’t they give us free access to create via their platform to grow their own user base off of ours? I mean I can potentially bring them 90k users, why should I pay them, they should pay me haha.

(Jeffrey Carandang) #5

@danieliser I don’t know any. The plugin just came in my mind when you’ve post the question. You might want to contact theme directly and make a deal. The plugin has been used by some hosting provider to provide tutorials to there users. Thanks!

(Leland Fiegel) #6

Interesting idea.

At first, like @phpbits, I thought of Sidekick. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plugin use it in the WordPress admin area, but I heard services like WP Engine use it to explain how their own admin interfaces work.

But after I got a better idea of what you want to offer, I realize that Sidekick isn’t quite the same thing. Can’t think of any that do self-guided troubleshooting like you describe.

Would this be targeted to plugin and theme authors? Maybe a better analogy would be like [Your Service] is to troubleshooting as Freemius is to monetization.

There could be an SDK that theme and plugin and theme authors include in their products that interface with your remote SaaS service. The main challenge is making it easy for plugin and theme authors to set up their own self-guided troubleshooting paths.

I’d imagine super popular plugin and theme authors would be willing to subscribe to pretty much any service that cuts down on support costs. It’s a no-brainer if the cost is less than what they’d spend on support otherwise.

The beauty of this idea is it doesn’t have to be limited to WordPress plugins and themes either. Pretty much any web-based software product could benefit.

I’m rambling at this point. But yeah, I think it’s a cool idea and I think it could be pretty popular.

(Daniel Iser) #7

From the video on their plugin page it looks like it plays the tutorials live in your own admin and has you click stuff as it goes along. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

In any case I hadn’t considered doing it as a SaaS service but as a plugin itself, though I can see the benefits of disconnecting from WP. I will say that the latest version shows this page in an iframe in the dash under help & support. The goal would be to put the Troubleshooting wizard between the doc links & the form as a gatekeeper essentially.

A SaaS solution could work there as well as long as it included public JS events to tie in with. I LIKE IT.

So then the question becomes, what type of features would be there for an initial service offering. Obviously adding more over time, unless helpscout buys me out.