Customer Service From a Customer Perspective
Posted By: Brian Farrell
Last Updated: Tuesday May 26, 2015
It’s no surprise that as a customer you rely on us to be the experts in the field of web hosting. That’s understandable for a number of reasons, primarily because you pay us good money to keep your site online and make sure we meet our end of the deal. That’s all good and well when things are working but what happens when they’re not? Lets say for the sake of example you get a message from one of your customers saying they can’t reach your site. You first think “well that’s not good.” Your second thought, like most customers, is “what did my host break now!?” And this is where the fun really begins. Whether it’s a server/network issue on our side, or a code/plugin issue with your software, your site is offline and you’re about to open a ticket with someone on our team. How you proceed from here can dictate just how fast we’re able to help you and figure out your problem.
We’ve all been on the bad end of a customer service experience. I read feedback about our support team every single day, both good and bad, and use this information to improve our operations on a daily basis. The goal is (obviously) to eliminate those bad reviews entirely and work up to a 100% satisfaction rate. That may not necessarily be practical but it’s an important state of mind to have when you work with customers for a living. As well trained and prepared as our support team is, there is a factor we can’t train for and a variable that is almost always unpredictable: the customer. What this ultimately means is our support team can only react based on the information provided to us.
So how can you, as a customer, improve our customer service?
- Be verbose, let us pick out what information matters: You don’t need to write an essay but you should always provide enough information to let us know whats going on. A ticket that simply says “My site is down!!!” with no further information won’t get too far too fast. Let us know what domain(s) you’re having issues with. Let us know when you were last able to access the site, or when you first noticed it was offline. If you think it’s relevant or related don’t hesitate to tell us. Something you consider a minor detail may be a major indicator to our support team.
- Errors and screenshots are invaluable: Without question having the error(s) you’re getting or a screenshot of the issue will put your ticket on the fast track to resolution. If our team doesn’t need to take the time to replicate the problem or debug the issue you’ve saved an incredible amount of time. In a majority of tickets we receive, when an exact error or screenshot is provided in the first ticket submission our first reply back to you will include a resolution.
- Patience truly is a virtue: Trust me when I say I know what it’s like waiting for a reply/resolution when you’re experiencing a critical problem. Please also trust me when I say it’s not in our best interest to ignore your issue, and furthermore it’s certainly not in our best interest to ignore you as a customer. We work to resolve issues as quickly as we can and we’ve always believed that doing it right is better than doing it fast. I’d rather have a support tech take a few extra minutes to verify an issue is fixed instead of responding to a ticket prematurely and hoping for the best. Once your ticket is in our queue I assure you we’ll get to it as soon as we can. Submitting multiple tickets about the same issue or spamming your existing tickets constantly asking for updates won’t make us work any faster.
- We’re going to make mistakes: The unfortunate truth is sometimes we’re going to mess up. It may be due to misreading your ticket, or perhaps we’ve diagnosed the problem and implemented a less than ideal solution. The bottom line is we may mess up, and your reaction to our mistake helps dictate the rest of the ticket. Cursing at or berating the tech who helped you likely won’t incentivize them to work harder for you and help fix your issue. We teach our team not to take customer comments too personally but it’s human nature to be a bit upset when someone attacks you personally over a mistake. If you really feel inclined to let us hear it then please ask for the ticket to be escalated and take it out on someone in management. We’ll probably have a better perspective on the ticket and look for a way to fix the root of the issue. We don’t like mistakes either but we can work through them a lot faster with your full cooperation.
- Speak up if you’re not happy: Our management team exists for a reason. We’re incredibly hands on and have no issue jumping in on a ticket/issue if a customer isn’t happy. It’s a lot easier for everyone involved if you ask for a ticket to be escalated early on as opposed to going back and forth for an extra 10 replies before you get too frustrated to continue. You should be prepared to wait a little bit longer between replies (an extra 20-25 minutes compared to a normal support ticket), but any replies from our management team will either involve a resolution or a reply that will further the conversation along quite a bit.
- Be casual or be professional, it’s all good to us: You can be as formal or informal as you want with us, we honestly don’t care either way. The bottom line is we’re your hosting provider. Our #1 goal above all else is keeping your site and other web based services online and accessible. We also like the same TV shows you do, we have families, we’ve got hobbies, we like going out and drinking beer…you get the point. We want *you* to feel comfortable talking to us. If it’s important to you to keep a professional relationship with us we’re all for that. If you’re more comfortable working casually and keeping things low key, we’ll follow suit. The point is we want to help you be successful with your online presence. That’s what matters most.
It goes without saying this is not a conclusive list. It’s concise, sure, but no single itemized list can summarize a customers support relationship with their hosting provider. When you support thousands of customers and hundreds of thousands of websites you’re going to come across a lot of unique snowflakes. We like that though. It forces us to continually adapt and improve our operations to provide you the best hosting experience possible. And as always, if you’re not getting the hosting experience you deserve, please tell us.