Giving great customer support
I know I have talked about this topic often, but there are always nuances in how you support people.
I worked for a company once that had their internet go down. This happens to too many companies unfortunately. I was told by the ISP that they wouldn’t have updates for an hour since they subcontracted with another company. This is life. It is common for companies to subcontract certain parts of their infrastructure out. However I was expected to give updates every 15 minutes.
So what this means is that I would call this company every 15 minutes and say the same thing. Any news? No, then I would go update management. I am thrilled to do such an easy job. The problem here is that when you become a pest, then companies ignore you.
I have had other bosses tell me to call the company and to not hang up until I get a resolution. When you do this then the other side finds a reason to get rid of you. When you make yourself a pest, you lower the quality of support from your vendor.
So what happens is that the more that I called the vendor the more time it took them to pickup and the less helpful they were. I know I am not their only client. So if your vendor says they will have an update in an hour, then wait an hour for an update.
If your business is so critical that you can’t afford down time, then invest in systems that will eliminate the risk of downtime.
It is very common for companies to want to be up 100% but not be willing to pay the costs to be up 100%. Often I have had to tell management that because there wasn’t a backup system, that it isn’t going to work. This has caused tens of thousands of dollars of cost in lost wages. After these things happened, management found the money to install the systems I recommended.
If you don’t value the relationship with your vendors call however often you like. You will get worse service in the future. I have experienced it first hand.
- Stories from my Past: The high cost of being a jerk
- Bribery and IT: The inside story
- Weekend support is weak for most software companies
- Windstream has terrible support
- What spare inventory is reasonable?