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  1. #1

    How should Host personnel deal with irate callers?

    I hope this topic is appropriate for this forum. This thread relates to another I posted earlier today, concerning an unsatisfactory interaction I had with a Tech Support person at the company that hosts WebsiteX, for which I am Webmaste.

    In brief: after the site had been down for 12 hours, I called TechSupport, was given an answer that was (a) overly technical for the circumstances, (b) sounded suspicious, in terms of "good operating procedures", and (c) in any case, not response to my call.

    In general, I'm strongly in favor of civility and politeness in all business dealings.

    However, anyone working at a Service company must understand that (1) the company is in the business of delivering *service*; (2) that the company is almost certainly competing with hundreds of other companies delivering essentially the same service; (3) therefore, you try to compete on the "service you deliver for the service"; and (4) when the service is down, callers are going to be irate and anxious. Anyone working at a service company needs to understand this and to be prepared for it. It comes with the job.

    The first thing I did when I found that the site was down was to check this company's own web site. It said nothing about any outage.

    It took this company more than 24 hours to respond to my email. That's just not acceptable. In the worst case scenario, e.g. if you are swamped with emails like that, you call in a bunch of temps and instruct them how to respond to those emails and then send out responses in a timely manner.

    Mr. Tech Support told me something about "migrating the system" from one system (I don't know if he meant hardware or softwae). As a customer, why should I care about that? If the situation is something like "the dam burst and the whole town is flooded and everyone at the company is trying to move the servers to a higher floor" or something like that, that's understandable. Why should a customer be burdened with tech details unless the customer asks?l

    Additionally, if you're "migrating" something, you do that in BACKGROUND, without interrupting on-going, real-time operations; then, when you have finished the migration, you switch over.

    The bottom line is that I believe I receive non-responsive service. Perhaps the reason is that tech support people are brilliant, but have not been given training in customer relations. Too bad: this interaction was so unsatisfying thatI will be moving the site, AND telling others what a lousy experience I had.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,765
    Is this SelectVPS or OmegaVPS? There's already a thread about those.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    8,299
    Fix the problem, or escalate the caller to someone higher in ranking who can.

  4. #4
    You don't have to make multiple threads on the same topic
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=552495

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    8,299
    Quote Originally Posted by WN-Ali
    You don't have to make multiple threads on the same topic
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=552495
    This isn't on the same topic. One discusses his poor experience with the host, the other is discussing how a host should deal with irate callers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga
    Posts
    8,985
    I prefer using bear traps or seal beating clubs.

    When I'm actually on shift though I tend to 'ignore' any irate aspect of their call and persist on resolving the situation. As always avoid taking things personally and generally things should go well no matter how irate the client is.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under Your Skin
    Posts
    5,875
    I think in your other post you cursed at the tech support people... well... I've never had anyone curse me over the phone, but I would try to help them the best I could, even if that meant refunding the rest of their months left on the contract and telling them to have a nice day... oh, and happy host hunting....

    Normally, I'm able to calm people down and get my job done without issue... I tend to use some of people skills I've learned over the years and not had anyone blow up after I've calmed them down....

    Cursing at people over the phone is no way to start a convo with a tech person... or any person at any time. If you have to curse, you should hang up, curse in the air, and then call back later. Most people do nothing more than shut down after a customer curses at them.....
    Last edited by hekwu; 10-05-2006 at 04:59 PM.
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    1,272
    Regarding technical details: I have found that most customers actually WANT an explanation of what is going on. They don't want to hear "your site will be up in a few minutes." They want to hear "your site is down because..., this is what we are doing to fix it, and this is how we are going to make sure it never happens again."

    Whether they fully understand the answer or not, they appreciate that you are being completely honest with them. In 6 years, I have never heard of a customer who did not appreciate the honest details.

    If you don't want to know what is wrong, then why are you even calling them?
    eVerity.com
    Celebrating 9 years of customer service. Domain names, shared/semi-dedicated/dedicated hosting, SSL certificates, merchant accounts, reseller options, and referral program, since July 2000.

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