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Web To Print Success - Part 3: The Data

August 14th, 2013 - Posted by Jamie Thomson, Managing Director


Web to Print Success – Part 3: The Data

This is the third and final (for now at least!) part of a series I started back in February this year covering what we can learn from our biggest Web to Print users. The first part covered one important factor, that of time, covering the learning curve (on how to use the software and even more importantly on how to sell the solution) and how it takes time invested in each new customer that starts using your Web to Print solution.

In part 2 I covered the team, both in terms of the specialists and the fact that the whole company needs to be aware of and involved in the online business strategy.

In this final part I am going to dig into the support data from our online support portal and see if there are any differences between the top 10 and the rest of our customers.

Number of Support Tickets

First I looked at the average number of support tickets submitted in a 12 month period. The results were not what I was expecting at all. My thinking before looking at the data was that the biggest customers would not need as much support as newer customers that are earlier in the stages of implementing their online business strategy.


Fig 1. Average number of tickets submitted per customer per year


However, if you look at the graph above you can see that the biggest customers submitted nearly 4 times as many support questions over the 12 month period. Part of this difference is probably explained by the fact that the top 10 customers have all grown their online business to such a size that they warrant full time Web to Print software specialists who, as they are using the system more frequently, naturally have more questions. Without more detailed information, that is all we can draw from the data. Thankfully we store more information than just volume of support tickets.

Type of Support Ticket

Every ticket that is submitted also gets a categorization, actually we use about 20 different categories but for simplicity these can be grouped into just 3 types of ticket. In the pie charts below we have grouped all the tickets submitted into the following categories:

  • Software Question (red): This is the majority of all tickets; from the how do I do such and such? to can your system do this or that? It doesn’t include the simplest queries that are all classed in the Training Requirement category below.

  • Training Requirement (green): This is more of a categorization for RedTie, we constantly monitor that that most frequently required basic software use questions are covered in both our online and in person training.

  • Change Request (blue): RedTie has a development plan that is almost all customer feature request driven. This category covers those feature requests and also any requests for bespoke development.


Fig 2. Breakdown into sub categories for all customers support queries.


Fig 3. Breakdown into sub categories for the Top 10 customers support queries.


The important thing to note is that whilst the percentage of the Software Questions category is almost exactly the same when comparing the top 10 biggest customers to the average customer, there is a significant shift between the Training Requirement and Change Request categories.

Training Requirement is easy to understand, this category is often associated with new users of our software so we would expect to see a drop between the average and the top 10 (who as discussed in part 1of this series tend to have been using the software for a long time).

Change Request is even more interesting. The percentage of support tickets submitted in this category is more than double when comparing the Top 10 to the average. Again it is probably not too surprising that our biggest customers are pushing the software to the limits (and we love it when customers do!) and that they are constantly pushing for more features as their own customers demand more.

It is also interesting to note that 80% of the Top 10 customers have paid for bespoke development to add in features that are too specific to get into the mainstream development plan.


What is clear is that the bigger users file more tickets per year than the average across all customers. They also submit significantly higher percentage of feature requests than is typical. They are pushing the boundaries of the RedTie Web to Print solution, which after over 10 years of development is an achievement in itself.