Five Essentials of Customer Service for Web Hosts
By Praveen

If you've been in the web hosting business for any length of time, you will already realize that keeping your servers humming along smoothly is only half of the equation. The other half is customer service. No matter how well your technology works, there will always be customer support issues. How you handle them is crucial to your success.

In this article, I will offer 5 essentials for success.
These are not all that is involved, but id you master these five fundamentals, you'll be well on your way to success.

1. Like Your Customers and Help Them To Like You

Before anything else, you really have to like people. If you are strictly a tech head, and hate dealing with people, you have a real problem on your hands. You may assume that you can fake it, but your dislike for people will eventually show through. If you don't like people, consider hiring someone who does.

One of the secrets of business is that people don't usually do business with the best person for the job - people do business with people they like.

With that in mind, remember to be a likeable person as well. Be polite, be upbeat, be positive. Take an interest in your customers. Ask how their day is going.

2. Listen

Always take a little time to listen to what your customer is telling you. Let them finish speaking before you jump in with a solution. If they need to vent their frustration, lend a willing ear. Ask a probing question or two.

If your customer is telling you how to improve your business, take it to heart. Big companies pay a lot of money for market research. A disgruntled customer on the other end of the phone will provide that for free.

Under the pressure of trying to solve everyone's problems, it's tempting to rush through a support call. Resist this at all costs. Your customer will realize that you are giving them the short shrift and fell less than valued.
Remember - if you don't value your customer, someone else will readily do so. You have over ten thousand competitors out there.

3. Empathize

Please note that I didn't say sympathize. Sympathy is to feel pity for someone else. Empathy is to identify with someone, placing yourself in their shoes.

Ask yourself - If I were in the customer's place, what would I want my web host to do for me?

This is nothing short of the Golden Rule. Give your customer the same quality and depth of support that you would expect.

4. Respect Your Customer

By respect, I'm not simply referring to the way in which you speak. Politeness is crucial, but it's even more essential to show respect by your actions.

If your client leaves a message for you, call them back promptly. If they send you an email, answer it quickly.
Take the time to learn your customer's needs, and address them.

One important point about this - respect each client whether they are a $5 client or a $5000 client.

I have a webhosting customer who is difficult to work with.
He doesn't understand much about computers, and he doesn't speak very good English. It's been a real struggle to give him good customer service. Sometimes, I've asked whether or not it was worth the ten dollars a month I make from him.

Recently, I learned that this gentleman is the spiritual leader of a moderate sized sect in India. Even more surprising, I learned that several of my more important clients signed up with us because of his recommendation.

Showing a little respect to a ten dollar client has made me several thousand dollars this year.

5. Thank Your Customer

Everyone wants to be appreciated and valued. Who could possibly be more worthy of your gratitude than the people who place food upon your table and shoes on your childrens feet?

Look for every opportunity to thank your customer or to show your appreciation. If they know you value them, they'll naturally value you.

About the Author:
John Pierce is the Customer Service Manager for Gold Zero Web Hosting - - and the webmaster of Article Beam Free Article Directory -