Why Customer Support is Vital To Your Business and How You Can Thrive!
When I was looking for a reliable web-hosting company a long while back, I did a little research into some of the top rated hosting companies in North America. What better way to find the top rated companies than looking through the customer reviews?
So with that, I went through the Google search and put in keywords like “Best Hosting USA” or “Top Hosting Companies”, etc. Obviously a bazillion hosting companies came up and I wasn’t going to spend a month researching each one. So the best thing to do was to find the customer ratings and reviews for the top 20-30 companies in the search results and then decide from there. The majority of hosting companies were fairly good from a pricing perspective and offered the essentials that I needed. According to the majority of the disclaimers of these hosting companies, the uptime of websites were guaranteed at 99.9%, and moving servers if necessary would be a breeze with no interruptions.
Just about every company I came across sounded amazing…until I read the customer reviews. What it all boiled down to wasn’t necessarily the guarantees that the hosting companies had placed in their disclaimers and weren’t able to make good on. Everyone knows that nothing is perfect with any hosting company. There will be downtime, there will be glitches, there will be a few issues here and there as with anything. Every client can survive knowing that if there is a problem or two on the end of the hosting company, efforts are being made by the technical support team to get things patched up as quickly as possible.
What’s especially important for those running a business online is that down-time is money lost. Customers coming through only to be hit by an error or a slow-loading site is a potentially lost sale. Nobody likes to wait. So knowing all that, I did my share of research into these highly rated web-hosting companies by looking through the customer reviews. Every company had their share of horror stories based on the reviews but most importantly, the biggest issue that was consistent across the reviews was the quality of the customer support team. Customers would describe their experiences with their hosting company’s customer support team and often at times, the level and quality of support would either push the customer to take their business elsewhere or to stay on board as a customer.
I’m sure many if not most people who have ever run an online business or website have had some interaction with the support desk of their hosting company. In my case, I came across a few replies like “Hmmm…I’ll have to transfer you over to one of our support people and someone will be with you shortly.” I’ve received a “Sorry but this is not our policy” reply. I’ve also been hit with a “Please go to our website and read through our FAQ section” reply. There were even a few times when the voice on the other end of the line was impossible to understand because the call had been transferred over to a customer representative in a foreign country.
So going back to my search for a solid hosting company that could give me a fair price and a reliable support team to help me during any website troubles or hosting troubles that I might have come across, it made sense to put the best support teams at the top of my list of potential hosting companies to sign up with. A few would even assign agents to directly help the customer during any issues. Web hosting companies aside, I’ve dealt with many different companies in my years and I have come to know that the quality of a customer support team can make or break a company’s reputation and brand.
As someone had once said “Treat your customers like royalty to build loyalty.” Truer words have never been spoken in the business stratosphere. The key is to over deliver as many business owners would say. Give the customer more than what they asked for and they will stick with you for the long haul. Here are some key points to help you hit it out of the park with your customers if you are running or hope to run a business:
1) Keep Your Customers Happy. The one thing about the internet is that your company’s reputation can be severely hit with a few scathing reviews. Everything is out in the open and easily accessible. When your company listing is up on Google, customer reviews are visible to the public and you certainly don’t want any negativity that will hurt your brand. People view your reputation based on how you dealt with other customers. It’s important for you to build your customers’ trust in your brand as they could easily take their business elsewhere.
2) Price is Not Everything. Research has shown that people will consider spending a little extra if the customer service is top notch. It’s like flying with reputable airlines. Some airlines may cost a little more but they’re likely to give you a more enjoyable flying experience than their cheaper and less reputable competitors.
3) Your Customers are Human Beings. In sales, much of the time it’s about closing the sale no matter what. But as mentioned in point 1, your reputation can be hit with negative reviews and on top of that, negative word of mouth. People are people and they want to be treated like they matter. It’s your job to treat them as such.
Keep these points in mind as you run your business and build your brand. It’s not always about offering lower pricing or great deals. It’s about how you interact with your customers that will ensure that your business thrives.