We have been getting a lot of "opinions" lately over how we moderate our forums. Personally, when I need to get support from a vendor I would rather contact them directly than post in public forums. I can tell by looking at tickets and forum participation that the majority of our Enterprise/Business customers are the same way. I think with the release of our new product options for Active Forums we have more customers seeking help in the forums. I have a few theories on this, but I would rather talk about how we can improve the support and community experience for all of our customers.
Some customers have asked why do we moderate our forums. Immediately some think we are trying to hide something or want to prevent people from posting negative comments. We aren't trying to hide anything. This would be very hard for us to do considering all the other DotNetNuke resources where you can easily post information. Of course we are going to try and prevent negative information from appearing in our forums, but we will always contact the customer directly when we see this happen.
I also see problems with having customers support other customers. A customer may think his problem is similar to another's and take the action that was suggested in the post. When this action fails, the customer will come back and post his negative experience. I would have rather had the customer create a support ticket to begin with.
Since I started Active Modules, I have been trying to come up the perfect balance between a support desk and support forum. I do have a project that I have been working on periodically that could potentially solve this problem, but that is still several months away.
We have a forum product and a couple help desk solutions at our disposal. I think we could put together pretty much whatever we wanted, but it's a matter of what our customers want.
What do you think would provide the best support and community experience for our customers?