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  1. #1

    Solution to those naggy customers (perhaps :P)

    I have been reading some posts lately and it seems that everyone host has a few people that have no idea of what they are doing and constantly email for support and what not. Well, a way i thought of was to compile a big help section on your site that explains how to do everything. The next time someone emails you for some help you could provide a link to the section of the help desk. After awhile this will premote your clients to read of the help section before calling/email tech support. This is just a theory of mine. Any ideas if that would work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Canada
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    1,598
    Many companies already provide an online knowledgebase and/or a FAQ's page. Not to mention, there's always Google.com.

    Most people can't be bothered to read through them, they'll send in a support ticket instead and expect a quick, fast reply.

    The next time someone emails you for some help you could provide a link to the section of the help desk.
    I'm positive that people are already doing this. Though it may not always be the best thing to do as customers may want direct answers and not be continually refered to read something off of a web page. (Even if it clearly outlines the information they need.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    1,349
    Or you can just point them to a web page design tutorial site.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,953
    No body reads em.
    Chicago Electronic Cigarettes: Tobacco Free, Smoke Free. 3 E-Cig Models, 11 flavors, and accessories.
    http://www.chicago-ecigs.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    189
    I would do exacly what he saying.. only add 1 step extra
    and include the text in the reply so they don't have to go read it on site. However they have the link if they want to go that route

    I don't feel not creating a FAQ / KB just because 90% of the ppl won't even read them is a good idea.
    As a customers I WOULD look at that before signup. Just to see how much effort they are putting into their support.
    If their to lazy (IMHO) to make one, how can I expect a decnet response ffor tickets??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    San Luis Obispo, CA
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    818
    cant you just copy their sites into /dev/null
    Nick Twaddell
    WebSpace Solutions - Custom E-Solutions
    Fast, Reliable, Affordable Web Hosting

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    1,210
    Originally posted by Synthetic
    Most people can't be bothered to read through them, they'll send in a support ticket instead and expect a quick, fast reply.
    I thought this was an interesting solution. The implementation could be better, but it's got possibilities.

    (note - when you open the link, pick a subject from the list)

    -Bob
    Last edited by TMX; 07-25-2002 at 02:24 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Send them to C-I Host.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    375
    Now that's cruel and unusual punishment, it's unconstitutional

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    2,416
    Half the would-be hosters on WHT don't read faqs, instructions, search google or even spend more than a few minutes puzzling over something -- why would you expect clients to do more?

    Not really joking here.
    “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under
    considerable economic stress at this period in history.”

  11. #11
    I agree send em to ***** and make them pay the price ;X
    Kevin L. - WiseOnline Solutions
    1.866.947.3478
    Under New Management
    AIM: WiseSupportKev

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    UK
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    1,541
    Yeah as someone said, send them the reply and then make your signature something like:

    If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us or vist our online tutorials at <link here>

  13. #13
    I think sometimes people just want to hear a nice voice
    Kevin L. - WiseOnline Solutions
    1.866.947.3478
    Under New Management
    AIM: WiseSupportKev

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
    Posts
    9,576
    you'd think customer's didn't deserve any support for their fees huh?

    It's the price of doing business people. Some customers need more support than others, and some will want it via your inbox, rather than via FAQ etc. Just because a few of them may 'nag' you by having questions is no reason to think any less of them.

    No suprises why customers feel there's no personal service in this industry anymore.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    368
    when they refuse or cant read the vast faq's

    we suddenly cant respond to their support request

    other than sending links to the faqs


    the whiners catch on real fast

    the losers split equally as fast

    the business we want stays
    the tech nightmares leave

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,003
    Originally posted by akashik
    you'd think customer's didn't deserve any support for their fees huh?

    It's the price of doing business people. Some customers need more support than others, and some will want it via your inbox, rather than via FAQ etc. Just because a few of them may 'nag' you by having questions is no reason to think any less of them.

    No suprises why customers feel there's no personal service in this industry anymore.

    Greg Moore
    I totally agree with you. Customers do not deserve such treatment for their fees. Is that why they complain they are loosing "thousands" for their $4 hosting?

    Customers have responsibilities too.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
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    9,576
    For all you know they may be losing thousands, though why they went with a $4 host would be beyond me

    A few years back we had a customer who would e-mail constantly over all sorts of issues. He had our smallest account and though very polite would have at least a few support tickets a week covering a gamet of concerns, most of which were well outside our control. Regardless of that, he was a customer, so we replied the best we could.

    After a few months he needed a new account so signed up our most expensive account, followed by our second most expensive a week later. Since then he's signed up two more accounts of a mid range price for friends and family. Currently he's been with us with those accounts for almost two years.

    Why? Because he had a lot of questions he didn't know the answers to, and we were the only people he knew that might have the solution. He was kind enough to give us his business so we were happy to help his business get off the ground and succeed.

    Now we don't hear from him much as he has most of the answers he needs, though he does drop an e-mail in every now and then to say thanks and Hi.

    While I agree some customers can be trouble and make your life hell, just causing you a bit of work by making you reply to their needs is a bit rich.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    189
    akashik Perfect Example....

    To those who don't want "troublesome" send em my way!!!!

    If you don't care about making money and having to actually DO something for it!!! Then I'll be more than happy to build my rep by given these "troublesome" clients the support they deserve!!!

    Just my 2cents!!!!!

  19. #19
    You are going to get customers that are paying you $5 a month and will raise the roof whenever the slightest support is needed... I agree with the theory that while all of us are pulling in income from these customers .. YOUR customer might be struggling to get their new "baby" off of the ground with a $100/month budget - so their $5 investment is actually an "important" investment for them. We are approaching about 800 accounts, and only 2-3 are really "unfairly hot-headed" but there are about a dozen or so customers that just need an extra couple of minutes explaining stuff..

    It may be hard to realize when YOU have money in your pocket - but some times a little role-reversal helps dealing with "problem customers" .. the 12 or so customers we have had like this have all stayed with us, still paying their monthly fee and even sending the occasional "thank you for putting up with me".

    All boils down to focus on customer service..

  20. #20
    Hello
    In my experience difficult customers who require lots of support usually stay less than 4 months regardless of what you do for them.

    The reason for this is that they are out of their depth with what they are trying to do and when we won't design their site for them they switch host.

    The one type of customer I really hate is the "I am losing $2,000 per day because my site is not working".
    The site usually has a coding/html problem and has had 2 hits in the past four weeks.
    i just mail these people and say we are unwilling to support the risk of litigation over so much losy revenue and drop their domain from the DNS prior to termination.
    Its amazing how often they will admit to not actually losing $2000 per day when the screws are turned.

    Gordon
    Formerly: Managing Director, Hostroute.com Ltd & Marketing Director, Ultraspeed UK Ltd
    View my Professional Profile: www.gordonhudson.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    368
    re role reversal

    im kinda green at admin tasks and get help from the admins at my noc or from cpanel.net

    and when i ask a question that i could have answered myself by READING or searching the archives

    I GET NO RESPONSE

    in other words when im an idiot i get slammed

    we pass that on after the handholding gets too much
    or the support requests indicate they didnt read the setup

    as far as some wanting our nightmares you already have them thanks for taking on our problems, and no we dont miss the cash

    lastly as for having to work for a living

    been there done that for 60-80 hrs per week for the last 20 years
    its time to relax and let the automation do its job

    just wait you'll get there too, guaranteed...

    enjoy

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Ozarks
    Posts
    888
    Akashik, I agree totally. I took a couple "Problem Clients" from another host I am friendly with. He had complained that they were constantly bothering him with stupid questions. Well, it was a lucky day for me that I did. The "stupid" questions were about search engine rankings and email issues. I was glad to help them out. One of them is now my favorite customer, bringing me $2000-$2500 a year in added services. I actually have to call him once in awhile just to see how things are going! Yes, I have some clients that ask questions that could be answered by reading a FAQ instead of emailing or calling us, but that's OK, it pays off, it really does. Sometimes it takes a while, but as they say, your reputation precedes you, and word of mouth can go a long way!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,210
    Originally posted by akashik
    For all you know they may be losing thousands, though why they went with a $4 host would be beyond me

    A few years back we had a customer who would e-mail constantly over all sorts of issues. He had our smallest account and though very polite would have at least a few support tickets a week covering a gamet of concerns, most of which were well outside our control. Regardless of that, he was a customer, so we replied the best we could.

    After a few months he needed a new account so signed up our most expensive account, followed by our second most expensive a week later. Since then he's signed up two more accounts of a mid range price for friends and family. Currently he's been with us with those accounts for almost two years.

    Why? Because he had a lot of questions he didn't know the answers to, and we were the only people he knew that might have the solution. He was kind enough to give us his business so we were happy to help his business get off the ground and succeed.

    Now we don't hear from him much as he has most of the answers he needs, though he does drop an e-mail in every now and then to say thanks and Hi.

    While I agree some customers can be trouble and make your life hell, just causing you a bit of work by making you reply to their needs is a bit rich.

    Greg Moore
    Yep that's the way to go..

    Fantastic.
    Professor of crime at St Andrews university.

  24. #24
    I suppose the line I draw is between troublesome customers and nasty customers.

    Troublesome=part of life, we need to deal with a percentage of these.
    Nasty=terminate, its not worth the mentaql anguish.

    Gordon
    Formerly: Managing Director, Hostroute.com Ltd & Marketing Director, Ultraspeed UK Ltd
    View my Professional Profile: www.gordonhudson.com

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    574
    Let's say you have 1000 accounts, here are two scenarios:

    #1
    1000 clients opening an average of 1.5 tickets per month;

    1500 tickets per month / 50 per day

    Not too bad.

    #2
    100 clients open 30 tickets per month
    25 open 90 tickets per month
    825 open 1.5 per month

    6487.5 per month / 216.25 per day

    Ouch.

    (This is based on 30 day month)

    -----

    I'd consider the 25 customers in #2 as "troublesome", and the 100 from #2 as just a bit needy, but those together completely raise your costs to a new level.

    I'm being light with this hypothetical figures too, i've seen, in reality, some customers open 5 tickets per day for silly things.

  26. #26
    People DO read the tutorials. At least they do on my site. We put up a tutorial and support calls dropped by about 90%. Between that and templates set up in Perldesk to automatically insert frequent answers support has become a breeze. There are still a few that do not or refuse to read or learn though. We are willing to accomodate them through the help desk but not via email.

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