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Hosting Discussion > Operating a Web Hosting Business > Customer Service and Support Issues > At what point to stop investing effort in the customer?
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  Post #1 (permalink)   10-10-2007, 07:39 AM
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I see a lot of discussion going on about which support options to offer and I would like to offer some additional advice.

In any business, you have to ask yourself "how much effort is too much to get a longterm customer?"

Support options should certainly not be the focus of one's business, after all, they are paying for the product, right?

This is true, but at the same time, the more options you offer, the more comfortable the customer will be.

In my opinion, even suggestions placed in your suggestions box should be treated as customer service issues because the customer wants and needs a feature that you do not offer in the way they would like it to be offered.

There is always a resolution to be found, even if not implementing every single suggestion.

Take the time to talk personally with each customer that has anything to say, whether to thank them for the compliment, let them know that their suggestion is being implemented and give them an estimated date of completion, let them know that you understand why they would like the suggestion implemented but explain why that route is not feasible at the time and then work closely with them to find a satisfactory resolution in the meantime, or even to redirect them to a feature that is already implemented that they just didn't understand.

Beyond that, what else can be done?

Obviously, your product should speak for itself, but always keep in mind that sales is customer service and vice versa.

One way to improve the product with forward-thinking customer service is to go above and beyond by having an initial and even routine survey and analysis of what the customer is trying to achieve , and make such as thorough as the customer is comfortable with.

Use that information to help the customer find the resources they need.

If they thrive, you thrive.

In my opinion, nothing is considered going too far for the customer, even though sometimes it is required to find a compromised solution.
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  Post #2 (permalink)   10-10-2007, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by **********.com
In my opinion, even suggestions placed in your suggestions box should be treated as customer service issues because the customer wants and needs a feature that you do not offer in the way they would like it to be offered.

Take the time to talk personally with each customer that has anything to say, whether to thank them for the compliment, let them know that their suggestion is being implemented and give them an estimated date of completion, let them know that you understand why they would like the suggestion implemented but explain why that route is not feasible at the time and then work closely with them to find a satisfactory resolution in the meantime, or even to redirect them to a feature that is already implemented that they just didn't understand.

In my opinion, nothing is considered going too far for the customer, even though sometimes it is required to find a compromised solution.
This is very true.

This is why we actually have our feedback section in our support ticket system. Great personal support always turns out to make or break a customer. With so many hosts out there you have to provide good support and reliable service. However, I think the issue people often talk about (certianly anyone who has been in the business a long time), is that one bad customer. the one who signs up simply to harass and try to get free service through harassment. I haven't met one host who hasn't had at least one of these customers.

I don't think 'too far' is in regards to a customer request or having to be patience to help the customer understand. All the time in the world should be invested into customers who require patience or extensive explaining as they will often be loyal.

Anyone else have input?
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  Post #3 (permalink)   10-17-2007, 08:42 AM
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Yea I agree, the customer feedback is important to improve your service as well, I think a community forum is important where you can be able to interact with your customers in length.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   12-23-2007, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
At what point to stop investing effort in the customer
When the customer starts abusing your services.
 
 
 


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  Post #5 (permalink)   12-27-2007, 04:17 AM
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What inworx just said, but beyond that, you should never "stop" investing your effort in making a customer happy. However, honesty has always been the best policy.

Our prices are quite low for most hosting companies, therefore we attract a lot of customers that may or may not have the experience in this hosting industry. Therefore, they would abuse our "think customer's first" mentality and a line must be drawn. What I recommend is be honest to the customer by saying, "I appreciate your business, but you are and have been trying your very best to help them - but if you feel that I'm not doing enough to meet your expection, I suggest you try hosting somewhere else that deserve your business." Keep repeating that every now and then, but still continue to provide support.
 
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   12-27-2007, 03:38 PM
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I agree with you timi, if the customer is clearly not happy with your service no matter what, sometimes the best thing you cna do to help the customer is help them find a new home We help both customers transfer in and out. Helping transfer a customer out based on server needs or what have you seems to turn out well since the customer knows you're there for them the whole way through and value them as a customer, not as a $ amount which can help your rep!
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  Post #7 (permalink)   12-27-2007, 05:53 PM
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We put alot of effort esspecialy in our resellers/vps that resell because simply we can. Our philosophy is that when our resellers are happy and doing good they upgrade there specs ect. When they are compleatly happy with us they buy more servers because they love our support.
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