I had a really bad experience lately with a hosting company and the issue was around communication.
The guy is the public figurehead of his company but he made it next to impossible to actually communicate with him or the company.
All communication options including emailing them directly, social media, etc had been blocked or turned off. The only way to get in touch was via submitting a ticket on their contact page.
The problem was the contact page was broken too 😓.
When we did finally get in touch the way they communicated was not a nice experience.
It was like being in a sparring match with this person and he was blaming everyone except themselves, even when the evidence was presented in front of them.
As the business owner, I can appreciate the need to be in control of communication channels, and even with feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with the demands, volume and expectations of communication. Especially when it comes to customer support.
Does the following sound familiar?
- Automate as much as possible
- Hire cheap customer support people
- For everything through one channel
- Make it hard to get in touch to reduce support volume
This kind of thinking is surprisingly commonplace.
I’ll even be the first to put my hand up and admit that I have done or still do some of those (no one’s perfect, right?)
But the problem is this thinking conflicts with one of your primary tasks as a business.
When you’re running a business your job is to manage customer happiness. Without customers you don’t have a business and everything else that you’re doing has no meaning.
It’s something this guy just didn’t “get” and approached all communication as a “him against the world” proposition. He might not have viewed it that way, but thats how it felt being on the receiving end.
So what do you do instead?
Be open. Be approachable. Be communicative. Take the blame. Don’t be above apologizing, it goes a long way. Be open to the possibility that you’re wrong. Be helpful. Be interested. Listen.