1) Take time to make professional replies. Make your customer feel like you care. By explaining things thoroughly, instead of giving a brief response, you are not only giving off a professional atmosphere, you are also making the customer feel like they are important.

2) If you are the owner/CEO, take the time to do some menial work. If you’re doing hosting, take some time and answer some simple tech support tickets. It may be good to show them that you are the CEO/Owner (with a signature).

Support3) Talk to some of your clients over the phone. Unless you can’t speak english or your voice sounds pre-prepubescent , there is no reason to not talk to some of your clients on the phone. Many clients will feel much more at ease. I am not saying post a 1800 on your site and start offering phone support. I am only talking about select cases, ie talking to a client about to cancel, or someone requesting a phone conference.

4) When clients do cancel (let’s hope not!), ask them why. I have yet to meet a customer who will not explain why. You may find many times it was nothing your company did wrong!

5) When you do something wrong, admit it. There’s no shame. Your mistake, your responsibility. Offer the client a few months of free service to make it up.

6) If you’ve had uptime issues, or the customer is not happy — and you know it was your fault — offer them 3 months of free service. More often than not they will stay. Customers do not like the hassle of changing hosting companies. Losing 3 months of revenue is definitely not as bad as no revenue from the client.

7) Don’t talk to your customers in support tickets like you’re a robot. I see it time and time again where a technician, and in a number of instances CEO’s, talk to their customers like they are a piece of crap on their shoe. Say ‘Hi’ to your customer by their first name. Give them an answer to their question, and ask if there is anything else you can do to help. Personally I think saying “Hello” all by itself is worse than not saying it at all. There are many business owners who don’t like to form any type of friendship with their customers, and don’t let their staff form any type of friendship with their customers either. That’s fine, but please don’t become a robot with no personality.

8) Feedback! Feedback! Feedback! Make it easy for your customers to send you feedback. Include a link to an online feedback form in your e-mail notifications that tickets have been marked as resolved. Making it easy for yours customers to send you feedback is not good enough though. You need to act on that feedback. Make sure your customer knows you received it, and make sure they know you will act upon it. You don’t have to do everything the customer says, just tell them you will put it on the agenda for your next weekly meeting. Like the robot issue above, I see it time and time again where companies make it easy to customers to send feedback, but then don’t do anything about it when they do receive the feedback. They don’t even send a thank you note, or at best the customer receives some comical robotic auto-responder thank you note.

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