Since starting in this business many years ago, one thing has been the key to my success. Good communication with a smile. So many times we as techs get lost in our acronyms and the technical details that non techs get lost in the conversation. The ability to communicate effectively with the rest of the world can mean the difference between a satisfied customer and a disgruntled customer, regardless of the quality of the product itself.
This is a very important lesson that many techs never learn. This is the reason that many companies have a sperate sales force from the tech staff. It is also the reason that at many companies you never get a chance to talk directly to a tech.
Generally, as a tech, I enjoy a priveleged status in that other techs will talk to me. As a programmer with a number of years of experience, I can generally carry on semi intelligent discussions in most computer related fields. In the not too distant past, I had the opportunity to converse with a programmer from another company. The fact that I was a tech did not spare me from bearing the brunt of his ego. I was amazed at the lack of support I recieved from the guy who was supposed to have written the software in question. After such treatment, I was not suprised that emails went unanswered and that a solution to the current problem has yet to be found.
Regardless of the quality of the product, the significant investment and difficulty of switching to a new system is often all that keeps a client from jumping ship. If service is poor for too long, it can actually create a large enough pool of disgruntled customers that a competitor can sweep in and become instantly profitable even if their products are sub standard.
Here at Computer Magic, our customer base is built primarily on word of mouth advertising and our current clients know where to come when they again need more of our services (and the do!). It just makes good business sense. Do yourself a favor and make your work day more pleasant by leaving those you work with in better shape (emotionally as well as professionally) then when you started. You will find that it not only will make your day go faster, but it will be good for business 🙂
On the same subject, one of the things that we have been week in is our customer service for web hosting. Not because we weren’t there for our clients, but because we were not the ones offering the hosting. The breakdown occurs because we offer our level of service which is often unmatched by the hosting company involved. To remedy this situation, we finally got things in gear and we are now offering great prices on web hosting packages to our clients as well as to the general public (http://www.cmagic.biz/wordpress/web-hosting). Our clients can now pay for their complete package (hosting, design, database, programming, secure certificate, domain name) all in one invoice. No more sending our clients to fill out techinal details to get a secure certificate or to register their own domain name. They have a business to run, they don’t want to be bothered by setup/renewal fees at three different companies.
The discussion about offering hosting has been going on for over two years. Our initial argument was that we concentrate on other aspects of the web site process (design, development, etc.) and we left the actual hosting to others. The final push to offer hosting services was not so much a financial decision, but a customer satisfaction decision. This tech mumbo jumbo is confusing and time consuming for our busy clients. We can now take the burden off their shoulders and allow them to simply enjoy their new site.
Make every experience a pleasant one!
Computer Magic And Software Design