It has been quite a trek for premium template firm WooThemes over the past three months. The company has transformed its business model around the WooCommerce management system (which recently eclipsed 500,000 downloads) and implemented a support desk overhaul to gain customer loyalty and bridge a communication gap that had existed throughout 2011 and 2012. With a heavy workload planned from now through December, WooThemes Co-Founder Adii Pienaar continues to let Woo Members in on his team’s plans as it wades through and completes a lengthy transition process.
In a January 29th blog post simply entitled 2013, Woo’s CEO wrote, “Januaries have always been the month where we take a deep breath, spend some time figuring out where we want to go this year and making plans to move us from A to B. As we’ve grown, the significance of this responsibility has increased exponentially and based on our challenges in 2012, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t have a monkey on our back. We’re shaking that monkey off in 2013 though and banishing it to the jungle forever.”
Overcoming Difficult Times
The 2012 calendar year was a trying time for WooThemes, and at one point in April it seemed it may not recover from being hacked and losing its entire database. Pienaar confirmed this fact in his post and alluded to a number of poor decisions that suffered from inexperience.
With that said, the WooThemes staff quickly began turning around the e-Commerce giant’s image and a culture of motivation has prevailed since then. The move from UserVoice to Zendesk modified a much antiquated support system that had resulted in the loss of community involvement and faith. Now with a complete forum, our research shows an improvement customer support ticket response as well as a renewed belief my many Members that the tides have turned.
WooThemes 2013 Action Plan
Pienaar outlined what WooThemes will attempt to accomplish this year in Tuesday’s blog entry, stating that his team aim to provide “an even better support experience. We’ve got data and we’re working incredibly hard to improve priority metrics such as Customer Satisfaction Rating, Time to 1st Response, Full Resolution Time on tickets etc. Giving the WooCommunity the awesome support that it deserves is our #1 priority for 2013. We’re so serious about this, that we’ll be publishing our report card, with some of the data & metrics, on the blog every month, because we want the WooCommunity to keep us accountable if we’re not growing & improving.”
Product documentation consolidation is also on the table; which would bring the software literature into one cohesive space while the firm’s commitment to open sourcing moves ahead with the release of free plugins such as WooDojo, Features and Testimonials. With the recent launches of the Appply premium theme and Sensei plugin for teaching along with WooCommerce 2.0 Beta Testing, there is plenty of look forward to if you’re a WooThemes subscriber.
The Co-Founder acknowledges that his typed promise “is only words and it will remain that unless we execute & deliver on our promise. We realize that. We have made a personal & individual commitment within the WooTeam that our actions will speak louder than our words this year. We will deliver happiness.
When I write this same post in 2014, I want to say that 2013 was the year in which we really made our customers incredibly happy by learning from our past mistakes. In 2014, I want the challenges of 2012 to be a distant memory and I want it to be known for the year where we made loads of mistakes, but that we learnt from them and used those experiences to build a bigger, better Woo.”
Community feedback has remained positive since we began covering Woo’s return to success late last year. Several Members have expressed a need for a Woo Menu system, single page theme, and several plugins. Just how far the company is able to progress in 2013 will ultimately depend on a number of factors, but many feel it is comforting to see the plan of action already in place.