If you as a small business owner have a web site and need to deal on a regular basis with a web hosting provider, web development company or a web site design vendor, you may have experienced less than stellar customer service. During the last week, I have engaged in 5 very long detailed conversations about the poor customer service being delivered by web developers and web site hosting companies. All of these conversations shared exactly the same complaints and what’s even more interesting in the exact same order.
Complaint #1: Poor communication
Communication continues to be an even greater challenge when technology enters this process. Emails lay unanswered or ignored while customer dissatisfaction grows. With business competition even more intense, small business companies that wish to grow cannot ignore this issue.
Complaint #2: Poor response rate
A timely response builds customer loyalty which should be the ultimate goal of every small business web design or web hosting provider. Through the click of a mouse, the old adage of customer satisfaction being everything has definitely changed.
Complaint #3: Abdication of any responsibility or “It’s not my job, man!”
With reduced budgets and the 20th century belief system that money spent on employees was an expenditure and a loss on the bottom line instead of an investment and a growth to the bottom line, many employees lack the skill sets to accept responsibility and help your customers achieve satisfaction. Many involved in web sites utilize independent contractors to interns. Ensuring that these employees have the skill sets to respond proactively to customer service inquiries will increase business.
Complaint #4: Lack of understanding as to the customer’s needs
This complaint stems from the top levels of management where the strategic plan (Who does what by when) including clear articulated core values has not been developed nor communicated. (See complaint number one.) Within this plan, the customers’ needs should be clearly identified so that marketing and sales strategies are in alignment. Employees need to be developed beyond the basic training and development so that they have the interpersonal skills to effectively work with the clients’ needs.
Complaint #5 – They promised me the “moon” and all I got was the “pits.”
With referrals being the strongest source for new sales, businesses lose incredible opportunities to build referrals when they make false promises. Learning to say no may in the short-term result in decreased sales, but in the long term will create sales through referrals.
If you are an Internet vendor such as a web hosting site or web developer and you wish to quickly double your business, possibly the quickest way is to make sure that you address these five complaints. By taking such directed action, you will be the lone brightly shining star in your niche market and word will quickly spread about your excellent customer service.
Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, http://www.processspecialist.com
This article may be freely published. Permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way (grammatical corrections accepted).