The Hidden Benefits of Difficult Customers

Slides from the Presentation at WordCamp Orlando & WordPress DC.

Supporting Free Plugins on and Commercial Products has its challenges. Yet, when handled properly, even the most challenging of exchanges can benefit your product as well as positively market your solution to potential customers. In this talk, I will go over setting expectations, watching out for the curse of knowledge, and how to “trust but verify.”

I will go over the types of questions to ask in support threads in order to get to the bottom of an issue. Additionally, I will go over how to respond to the shoulds, the lashers, exergatertors, and unreasonables, along with the regular usage support to benefit you and your customers. This will include going over examples including how the support team turned a review titled “Run Away From This You Won’t Regret It” into a positive review and many more. The last part of talk will go over some ways to reduce support and go over support tools such as forums versus email.

WordPress Plugins to help with Support

  • Plugin Logic – deactivate plugin based on url
  • Plugin Organizer –  Change the order that your plugins are loaded and selectively disable plugins by any post type
  • Bulk Deactivate
  • Query Monitor – Debugging plugin with performance information on database queries, hooks, conditionals, HTTP requests, redirects and more
  • WP Crontrol – Check on scheduled WordPress cron jobs and manually run
  • WP Theme Test – Change theme for logged in user

Browser Extensions


  • Centralized Location to bring in support requests
  • Import Plugin Support RSS Feed from
  • Email
  • Form Entries