Software Support Done Right

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Better software support for smaller and indie developer companies working with Apple technology.

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Software Support Done Right

  1. 1. Software support done correctly Andreas Zeitler @zettt macosxscreencasts.com zcasting3000.com
  2. 2. A relatively bad example
  3. 3. Hi Andreas...
  4. 4. Hi Andreas...Cheers, thanks, bye, ciao, tschüss...
  5. 5. This message clearly says: Hi Andreas...Cheers, thanks, bye, ciao, tschüss...
  6. 6. This message clearly says: • I don’t care Hi Andreas...Cheers, thanks, bye, ciao, tschüss...
  7. 7. This message clearly says: • I don’t care Hi Andreas... • I don’t have the time to deal with youCheers, thanks, bye, ciao, tschüss...
  8. 8. This message clearly says: • I don’t care Hi Andreas... • I don’t have the time to deal with you • I don’t care how you present my product bye, ciao, tschüss...Cheers, thanks,
  9. 9. Hi Andreas...Cheers, thanks, bye, ciao, tschüss...
  10. 10. Hi Andreas...Cheers, thanks, bye, ciao, tschüss...
  11. 11. A relatively good example
  12. 12. A relatively good example DreamHost
  13. 13. My email to DreamHost:
  14. 14. My email to DreamHost:Dear DreamHost support,Website is down!Why?Help!Now!Cheers
  15. 15. Andreas,[386390.279461] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386390.303417] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386390.303453] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386390.357101] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 227694 or a child[386391.125965] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 227694 or a child[386394.160813] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386394.247377] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386394.636484] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 199764 or a child[386497.221512] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386497.221582] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386497.277468] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a child[386497.768186] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386497.865295] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386498.255450] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a childWhen there isnt any available memory on the machine, the server isunable to spawn new processes which in turn causes a 500 error. It canalso kill off existing processes such as http and ftp. I recommendfollowing the steps in this wiki:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_OptimizationYou can also raise your memory levels from within the panel by clicking"Private Servers" > "Manage Resources".Its always a good idea to keep an eye on the graph on that page as itwill give you some insight into the current state of your server. Asidefrom the optimization wiki, Id also recommend removing any extraneousplugins if youre running Wordpress installs, especially any SEO plugins.If you havent already, you should also download and enable eitherwp-cache or wp-super-cache (again assuming youre running Wordpressinstalls). As far as your server not always needing the same amount ofmemory, you can adjust your usage at any time as you see fit. That can bequite a chore! Luckily, one of our customers recently wrote a prettyawesome program which can automatically handle memory usage for you! Youmay want to check it out, but please be aware that even if it works, itis custom software and is not provided by DreamHost:http://memcron.com/Id also highly suggest enabling FastCGI for these domains if you haventalready done so, it typically uses far less memory than the standard PHPinstall! If you run into any troubles with the above information (which Irecommend checking out as it can help you to reduce usage regardless ofthe number of visitors you receive), please let us know. Also, since youare running a WP site, the following will be helpful as well:1) Keeping your WordPress install as up-to-date as possible. You can dothat by checking whether or not you need to upgrade here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/update-core.php2) Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date. You can check to see if anyplugins need to be updated here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/plugins.php
  16. 16. [386497.221582] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386497.277468] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a child[386497.768186] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386497.865295] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386498.255450] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a childWhen there isnt any available memory on the machine, the server isunable to spawn new processes which in turn causes a 500 error. It canalso kill off existing processes such as http and ftp. I recommendfollowing the steps in this wiki:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_OptimizationYou can also raise your memory levels from within the panel by clicking"Private Servers" > "Manage Resources".Its always a good idea to keep an eye on the graph on that page as itwill give you some insight into the current state of your server. Asidefrom the optimization wiki, Id also recommend removing any extraneousplugins if youre running Wordpress installs, especially any SEO plugins.If you havent already, you should also download and enable eitherwp-cache or wp-super-cache (again assuming youre running Wordpressinstalls). As far as your server not always needing the same amount ofmemory, you can adjust your usage at any time as you see fit. That can bequite a chore! Luckily, one of our customers recently wrote a prettyawesome program which can automatically handle memory usage for you! Youmay want to check it out, but please be aware that even if it works, itis custom software and is not provided by DreamHost:http://memcron.com/Id also highly suggest enabling FastCGI for these domains if you haventalready done so, it typically uses far less memory than the standard PHPinstall! If you run into any troubles with the above information (which Irecommend checking out as it can help you to reduce usage regardless ofthe number of visitors you receive), please let us know. Also, since youare running a WP site, the following will be helpful as well:1) Keeping your WordPress install as up-to-date as possible. You can dothat by checking whether or not you need to upgrade here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/update-core.php2) Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date. You can check to see if anyplugins need to be updated here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/plugins.php3) Removing any plugins that you do not use, even if they are set to"Inactive". You can remove them from the same link as #2.4) Installing caching and anti-spam plugins. You can find information ongood ones for both of those here:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Spamhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Caching5) Optimize and improve performance!http://wiki.dreamhost.com/WordPress_Optimizationhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Wordpress_performance
  17. 17. [386497.221582] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386497.277468] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a child[386497.768186] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386497.865295] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386498.255450] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a childWhen there isnt any available memory on the machine, the server isunable to spawn new processes which in turn causes a 500 error. It canalso kill off existing processes such as http and ftp. I recommendfollowing the steps in this wiki:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_OptimizationYou can also raise your memory levels from within the panel by clicking"Private Servers" > "Manage Resources".Its always a good idea to keep an eye on the graph on that page as itwill give you some insight into the current state of your server. Asidefrom the optimization wiki, Id also recommend removing any extraneousplugins if youre running Wordpress installs, especially any SEO plugins.If you havent already, you should also download and enable eitherwp-cache or wp-super-cache (again assuming youre running Wordpressinstalls). As far as your server not always needing the same amount ofmemory, you can adjust your usage at any time as you see fit. That can bequite a chore! Luckily, one of our customers recently wrote a prettyawesome program which can automatically handle memory usage for you! Youmay want to check it out, but please be aware that even if it works, itis custom software and is not provided by DreamHost:http://memcron.com/Id also highly suggest enabling FastCGI for these domains if you haventalready done so, it typically uses far less memory than the standard PHPinstall! If you run into any troubles with the above information (which Irecommend checking out as it can help you to reduce usage regardless ofthe number of visitors you receive), please let us know. Also, since youare running a WP site, the following will be helpful as well:1) Keeping your WordPress install as up-to-date as possible. You can dothat by checking whether or not you need to upgrade here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/update-core.php2) Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date. You can check to see if anyplugins need to be updated here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/plugins.php3) Removing any plugins that you do not use, even if they are set to"Inactive". You can remove them from the same link as #2.4) Installing caching and anti-spam plugins. You can find information ongood ones for both of those here:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Spamhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Caching5) Optimize and improve performance!http://wiki.dreamhost.com/WordPress_Optimizationhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Wordpress_performance
  18. 18. [386497.221582] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386497.277468] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a child[386497.768186] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386497.865295] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386498.255450] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a childWhen there isnt any available memory on the machine, the server isunable to spawn new processes which in turn causes a 500 error. It canalso kill off existing processes such as http and ftp. I recommendfollowing the steps in this wiki:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_OptimizationYou can also raise your memory levels from within the panel by clicking"Private Servers" > "Manage Resources".Its always a good idea to keep an eye on the graph on that page as itwill give you some insight into the current state of your server. Asidefrom the optimization wiki, Id also recommend removing any extraneousplugins if youre running Wordpress installs, especially any SEO plugins.If you havent already, you should also download and enable eitherwp-cache or wp-super-cache (again assuming youre running Wordpressinstalls). As far as your server not always needing the same amount ofmemory, you can adjust your usage at any time as you see fit. That can bequite a chore! Luckily, one of our customers recently wrote a prettyawesome program which can automatically handle memory usage for you! Youmay want to check it out, but please be aware that even if it works, itis custom software and is not provided by DreamHost:http://memcron.com/Id also highly suggest enabling FastCGI for these domains if you haventalready done so, it typically uses far less memory than the standard PHPinstall! If you run into any troubles with the above information (which Irecommend checking out as it can help you to reduce usage regardless ofthe number of visitors you receive), please let us know. Also, since youare running a WP site, the following will be helpful as well:1) Keeping your WordPress install as up-to-date as possible. You can dothat by checking whether or not you need to upgrade here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/update-core.php2) Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date. You can check to see if anyplugins need to be updated here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/plugins.php3) Removing any plugins that you do not use, even if they are set to"Inactive". You can remove them from the same link as #2.4) Installing caching and anti-spam plugins. You can find information ongood ones for both of those here:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Spamhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Caching5) Optimize and improve performance!http://wiki.dreamhost.com/WordPress_Optimizationhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Wordpress_performance
  19. 19. [386497.221582] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386497.277468] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a child[386497.768186] php5.cgi cpuset=ps34711 mems_allowed=0[386497.865295] Task in /ps34711 killed as a result of limit of /ps34711[386498.255450] Memory cgroup out of memory: kill processapache2-ps34711(6203:#34711) score 206293 or a childWhen there isnt any available memory on the machine, the server isunable to spawn new processes which in turn causes a 500 error. It canalso kill off existing processes such as http and ftp. I recommendfollowing the steps in this wiki:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_OptimizationYou can also raise your memory levels from within the panel by clicking"Private Servers" > "Manage Resources".Its always a good idea to keep an eye on the graph on that page as itwill give you some insight into the current state of your server. Asidefrom the optimization wiki, Id also recommend removing any extraneousplugins if youre running Wordpress installs, especially any SEO plugins.If you havent already, you should also download and enable eitherwp-cache or wp-super-cache (again assuming youre running Wordpressinstalls). As far as your server not always needing the same amount ofmemory, you can adjust your usage at any time as you see fit. That can bequite a chore! Luckily, one of our customers recently wrote a prettyawesome program which can automatically handle memory usage for you! Youmay want to check it out, but please be aware that even if it works, itis custom software and is not provided by DreamHost:http://memcron.com/Id also highly suggest enabling FastCGI for these domains if you haventalready done so, it typically uses far less memory than the standard PHPinstall! If you run into any troubles with the above information (which Irecommend checking out as it can help you to reduce usage regardless ofthe number of visitors you receive), please let us know. Also, since youare running a WP site, the following will be helpful as well:1) Keeping your WordPress install as up-to-date as possible. You can dothat by checking whether or not you need to upgrade here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/update-core.php2) Keeping your WordPress plugins up-to-date. You can check to see if anyplugins need to be updated here:http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/plugins.php3) Removing any plugins that you do not use, even if they are set to"Inactive". You can remove them from the same link as #2.4) Installing caching and anti-spam plugins. You can find information ongood ones for both of those here:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Spamhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Fine_Tuning_Your_WordPress_Install#Caching5) Optimize and improve performance!http://wiki.dreamhost.com/WordPress_Optimizationhttp://wiki.dreamhost.com/Wordpress_performance
  20. 20. From: DreamHost Customer Support Team <support@dreamhost.com>Subject: Re: [andzei 39277830] Internal Server Error Date: 19. Oktober 2010 17:14:26 GMT+01:00 To: azeitler@zettt.de------------------------------------------------------------------------- After reading this response, please consider visiting- the URL below to comment on its quality. Thanks!-- http://www.dreamhost.com/survey.cgi?n=39277830&m=566296------------------------------------------------------------------------Andreas,Odds are the process that updates the graph is getting killed. I thinkthat were looking into a solution that corrects this.Thanks!Scott-- DreamHost Support Team + support@dreamhost.comEarn over $97 for each referral: http://www.dreamhost.com/rewards.html To continue this support case, just reply to this email. Open a new case at: https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tab=support
  21. 21. Improving support (communication)
  22. 22. It’s ok to...
  23. 23. It’s ok to...• ... not answer an email right away.
  24. 24. It’s ok to...• ... not answer an email right away.• ... be brief.
  25. 25. It’s ok to...• ... not answer an email right away.• ... be brief.• ... use snippets.
  26. 26. It’s ok to...• ... not answer an email right away.• ... be brief.• ... use snippets.• ... use a support system like tender.
  27. 27. It’s ok to...• ... not answer an email right away.• ... be brief.• ... use snippets.• ... use a support system like tender. • (Eat your own dog food!)
  28. 28. Improving support (communication)
  29. 29. Improving support (communication)• "Sorry for the late reply."
  30. 30. Improving support (communication)• "Sorry for the late reply." • I have read your email, but didnt care enough.
  31. 31. Improving support (communication)• "Sorry for the late reply." • I have read your email, but didnt care enough.• "Best regards from Stuttgart"
  32. 32. Improving support (communication)• "Sorry for the late reply." • I have read your email, but didnt care enough.• "Best regards from Stuttgart" • I dont know where you are, but the sun shines here.
  33. 33. Improving support (communication)
  34. 34. Improving support (communication)• Screencasting
  35. 35. Improving support (communication)• Screencasting • Tell me and Ill forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and Ill understand.
  36. 36. Improving support (communication)• Screencasting • Tell me and Ill forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and Ill understand. • Scrivener (literatureandlatte.com)
  37. 37. Improving support (communication)• Screencasting • Tell me and Ill forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and Ill understand. • Scrivener (literatureandlatte.com) • Billings (marketcircle.com)
  38. 38. Improving support (communication)• Screencasting • Tell me and Ill forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and Ill understand. • Scrivener (literatureandlatte.com) • Billings (marketcircle.com)• Blogging
  39. 39. Improving support (communication)
  40. 40. Improving support (communication)• Forum
  41. 41. Improving support (communication)• Forum• Social Media (Twitter, Facebook)
  42. 42. Improving support (communication)• Forum• Social Media (Twitter, Facebook) • BUT
  43. 43. Improving support (communication)
  44. 44. Improving support (communication)• If you decide to use a channel be prepared to use it the way the users use it.
  45. 45. Improving support (communication)• If you decide to use a channel be prepared to use it the way the users use it. • Deliver content!
  46. 46. Improving support (communication)• If you decide to use a channel be prepared to use it the way the users use it. • Deliver content! • Post updates!
  47. 47. Improving support (communication)• If you decide to use a channel be prepared to use it the way the users use it. • Deliver content! • Post updates!• People dont follow a brand, they follow a person.
  48. 48. Improving support (communication)• If you decide to use a channel be prepared to use it the way the users use it. • Deliver content! • Post updates!• People dont follow a brand, they follow a person.• People opt in to be disturbed by you. They deliberately give you the permission to be interrupted by you.
  49. 49. Dont make it hard forpeople to communicate with you
  50. 50. Make your life easier
  51. 51. Make your life easier Never do free!
  52. 52. Mind your target audience!
  53. 53. Discussion Your experiences

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