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  Post #1 (permalink)   07-15-2011, 08:40 AM
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I'm setting up a webhosting company at the moment, aiming for a September 1st opening. It's my first company, first steps into the hosting business (after having been a client for many years) and I'm doing insane amounts of research to learn the things I don't know yet.

I'd like to think I've covered almost everything I can think of, but one thing still irks and scares me a bit. What happens when my business is running smoothly, clients come in and everything is good. Then suddenly a client asks a question I don't have a clue about?

The last thing I want to do is give the client the impression that I'm some incompetent idiot. What would you do in such a situation?
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   07-15-2011, 09:32 AM
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Hi Robin,

Certainly a valid concern, I presume you are using a reseller account through another host? if this is the case your reseller is often a great resource for help.

You can research until you are 90 years old but you will always, and i mean ALWAYS, be asked a question you have no idea about, that, in my opinion, is half the fun of running your own business, it's a learning curve for everyone involved.

I find that forums are also a great deal of help, such as this one, to have lots of people provide feedback on a question you may have. In regards to the impression you will give your client, if it is something that is going to take a while to provide an answer for just be honest. Dear XXXXX,

Apologies for the delay, we are looking into the cause/solution/answer to your question. I find giving a firm timeframe and sticking to it goes a very long way.

If you say an hour, you mean it, you will gain the confidence of your clients even if the answer takes a little longer.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   07-15-2011, 11:06 AM
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Honesty is always the best policy. If you've never been asked the question before: tell them that, and let them know that you will get the answer for them and be sure to follow up with them as quickly as possible.

You'll gain alot more respect (and clients) that way.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   07-15-2011, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

I guess honesty would work out for the longest. I just shouldn't be so afraid to make a mistake I suppose .
 
 
 


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  Post #5 (permalink)   07-15-2011, 11:56 PM
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Mistakes happen, and as orangepepper stated, you can sit and research for years and still not know EVERYTHING about something. We live in an evolving business, and every few weeks/months, something new comes on the market that we get to either upgrade or install from scratch.

Honesty is going to be your best policy. You'll want to be upfront with the people who ask you questions, and if you don't know the answer, and can't deliver it quickly, you need to let them know. There's nothing worse than someone putting in a ticket, and not getting a reply for 4-6 hours when at the end the answer was very simple.

Forums are a wealth of information, and google is your friend! Just be sure not to promise the world to someone and then not be able to deliver!
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  Post #6 (permalink)   07-20-2011, 11:34 AM
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This is something that comes up in many situations with people who run their own business in any industry. If you think you can reasonably give a good answer, then do it. If you have no idea then just tell them you don't know. The client will understand if you don't and will know if your making stuff up.

Here is what you say!! Just re assure them you will do the research and find the answer to their question and get back to them as soon as possible.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   07-20-2011, 01:04 PM
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Honesty is always the best policy. If you promise to get back to them with an answer, do that as quickly as possible - even if it's not what they want to hear. You can't be everything to everybody - just be the best you can and you'll be fine. The best of success to you.
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  Post #8 (permalink)   07-20-2011, 02:39 PM
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I would suggest getting a reseller account or vps with management so that at least you have a little bit of help.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   07-20-2011, 10:26 PM
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Yups, im joining the crowd of people saying, honesty is the best. Tell them your looking into it and will return with a reply as fast as possible.

This is also why i don't totally approve of live chat support. Its good for smaller issues, but when it comes to more complicated issues, a support ticket system will help you keep track of the communication and gives you time to search for an answer.

If you are running on a managed reseller account you do have the opportunity to get help from the company where you have bought the solution.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   07-21-2011, 10:33 AM
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LiveChat works great if you have the ability to forward your chats to level 2 and level 3 support, plus review archives.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   07-22-2011, 03:35 AM
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Answers to most of the questions will be available. If you are still unsure, you can always consult the forums. :-)

Good luck with your new business.
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  Post #12 (permalink)   07-30-2011, 10:35 PM
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A simple google search should help you out of 99% of issues. Also have someone smarter that you can call on usually your web host if they have 24/7 support. Another option is to use a company that offers end user support so you can focus on sales and don't have to worry about support at all.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   08-19-2011, 02:13 AM
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Hope you will be successful with your new IT business.
Outsource support is one useful thing, think of that.
 
 
 


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  Post #14 (permalink)   08-20-2011, 11:55 PM
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My advice is to keep google up the whole time. Google is your best friend. A motto i live by when helping my clients, if all else fails google prevails. Google has the answer to everything if you use the correct search terms. You will never EVER stop learning in the business. I dont care who you are. Everyone that has posted here has given you amazing information. i would remember as much of it as you can.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   08-22-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Andy View Post
A simple google search should help you out of 99% of issues. Also have someone smarter that you can call on usually your web host if they have 24/7 support. Another option is to use a company that offers end user support so you can focus on sales and don't have to worry about support at all.
This is one solution, but I have goals set for my company. One day I do actually want to have staff. One day I do want to have my own servers, my own full rack(s).

And when I get there I want to run a very tight ship, not just be the big cheese but also someone who knows how his own company works under the hood. Learning support and researching as much as possible is a big part of getting there IMO.
 
 
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