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10-28-2004, 08:15 PM #1bliksterCGuest
The Importance of Customer Service...
Notice the title states customer service and not support. Most hosting companies are tech savvy enough to provide adequate support to their customers, sure enough. However, few have learned the merits of quality customer service when dealing with their clients. Any host will testify that answering support requests through a ticket desk or email absorb a generous portion of a host’s daily activity. Thus, the ins and outs of the daily tech support grind tend to weigh heavy on smaller, underpowered hosts and can cause them to become complacent. This is a huge tactical error that must be understood if a smaller host is to compete in the very competitive world of web hosting.
In fact, quality customer support can be a newer web host's arc de triumph, their niche. When competing with the larger web hosts who may own several dedicated servers or perhaps even their own data center, the smaller host needs to standout. Quality customer support is the trump card you have complete control over to set yourself apart from the competition. As a matter of fact, some larger companies lack in this area simply because their clients' numbers are too large. This is just the factor a new host needs to capitalize on in order to carve their position in this industry.
How does one accomplish this? It's actually quite simple but requires a stern dedication to satisfying the client.
Handle Support Requests with a Twist of Service
Tickets and support requests should never be one line or one word answers. Many times this will require your client to resubmit their ticket and cause both frustration for them and loss of time for you. If the ticket is answered correctly the first time, then the problem is solved that much faster and efficiently...and this is what clients want. They want fast responses and complete answers to their queries. Do not belittle their request with standard one line jargon.
Always Thank The Client
Always thank the client for submitting a request to support or sales. Open each response to a ticket or sales inquiry with, "thank you for contacting Any Host support/sales." And then go on to answer the request...accurately. Make sure you understand the question, if it's not clear, politely ask them to clarify it for you so you properly answer their query.
When closing tickets or sales inquiries always close with "Thanks for writing in. Please contact us if we can help you further" or "Thank you for your interest in Any Host and for the opportunity to earn your business today". This makes an unforgettable first impression to the client.
Advanced Notice of Downtime and Maintenance
When clients leave a host for minor downtime or network issues, that's not usually the major cause for their departure, but the culmination of shoddy support, slow response times and incomplete support answers. Finally solidified by downtime, no matter how minor.
Never fail to inform your clients of scheduled downtime. They will appreciate it. The "pit in stomach" one gets when they log on to their site and get that dreaded white page is a very powerful deterrent to NOT use a particular host’s service. When your server is down, be the first to let them know. Have a mailing list of your clients' off server contact emails for a quick email blast informing them of any issues.
Fast Response Times
Response times to tickets is also crucial in maintaining good customer service. Most clients will find no justification for a host taking 3, 4, 5, sometimes 12 hours to respond to a support ticket. Resolution times vary, of course, depending on the severity of the issue at hand. However, to take hours to simply respond to a ticket is insane and will surely cause your clients to post a link in many forums about how slow your company is to respond to a simple name server query.
Negate Bad Press
Historically, customers are more prone to share bad news about a company than good news. There's not much that can be done to change this. Bad experiences tend to resonate longer and thus cause a wicked backlash. A very effective method to counter act this "unwritten law" is to negate bad press. Squash it. Don't let it happen. While this is not 100% possible by any means (you can't satisfy everyone), if you research the companies that continuously gain praise on major hosting forums you'll find one constant. Fast and friendly support and good uptime. The fast and friendly support will often yield you much slack when those inevitable bouts of server downtime do occur.
Ability to answer a customer's question is very important. But to answer their queries with professionalism, politeness and resolvement is just as important and often overlooked in our industry.
10-29-2004, 09:17 AM #2wirelessguyGuest
Very good point. But normally they will make us to ask second question. They don't provide full info.
10-29-2004, 09:44 AM #3denisGuest
A beautifully worded article!!!
10-31-2004, 03:28 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
Great article indeed! Nice to see some fresh contributions!The Web Hosting Show - The Voice of the Web Hosting World
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