I had an unfortunate experience with some customer service people yesterday. I needed help with switching the way Affect Selling is hosted.
It was previously on a “shared” server and therefor it was really slow at times. Now it’s using a “Virtual Dedicated Server” from GoDaddy.com.
But that’s not the point here. The point is that GoDaddy advertises their customer service on their website. But they don’t deliver what you’d expect.
What do you advertise?
Though I believe great customer service is the best way for a business to succeed, not everybody has to offer that. You can offer lower prices if there aren’t so many customer service people waiting for someone to need their help.
Whatever it is you advertise about your product/service, is what people expect you to be good at.
If you advertise customer service, the promise is that you’ll do everything you can to help customers. That you’ll offer the best service possible.
With that expectation they’ll be disappointed if the service isn’t wonderful. This is true also if you advertise cheap prices, fast delivery, ease of use, or anything else. People expect to get the best of what you talk about.
The GoDaddy email customer service doesn’t live up to any sort of hype. They reply quickly, but that’s it. I guess they should read my series of posts about email customer service.
The answers were too technological for me to understand (and I did tell them I’m not that tech-savvy). And they did their best to avoid doing more than the bare minimum.
For example when I asked them about the PHP version on the server (I had no idea what that meant), they told me I can read an article about it. Or they could do the necessary updating for $49.99.
I decided to read the article. I didn’t understand it so I read another and another and another article to explain what the first one meant. Finally after a few hours I managed to update the PHP version on my server.
Now that I know how it’s done, I could do it in a minute. So, they would’ve charged me $49.99 for that one minute. Instead of just doing it, they replied to my email, and another email, and a third email about the process. They spent more time answering my emails than it would’ve taken them to do the update.
When the installation of WordPress didn’t go smoothly, they told me to find answers elsewhere since it’s a third-party application. Again when I finally found the reason for the problems, I could see it would’ve taken them a minute or two to fix it. (I have to thank the people at WordPress forums for help.)
I do understand and appreciate the low prices GoDaddy offers. But I cannot understand why their email customer service isn’t better. The people there obviously have the technical know-how. They just don’t seem to understand what their job is.
What should you advertise?
What are you good at? Really good at? When you advertise your customer service, people expect it to be great. But you should still exceed that expectation.
Exceeding expectations is the best way to create loyal customers and referrals.
You need to surprise people regardless of their expectations. If you advertise cheap prices, then either be surprisingly cheap, or offer additional free services for your customers.
“Good enough” isn’t good enough. If you’re not confident you can exceed expectations with something, then you shouldn’t talk about that at all. Or if your customers are likely to expect more from you than you’re able to offer, than warn them in advance. Don’t let people build up anticipation, and then prove them wrong.
Avoid and/or explain
I was disappointed with the GoDaddy customer service because I expected more. I’d be fine with doing all the server configuration by myself, but since they “advertised” their customer service, I expected to get help.
They could just add a “warning” to their sales page for the server that said, “You’ll need to understand how to configure your server on your own. Optionally you can hire us to do it for you.”
If I would’ve read that before making the purchase, I wouldn’t be so frustrated with them now.
You cannot always cater to your customers’ every need and desire. But when you can’t, you need to try, and then explain why you can’t do it.
Don’t please everyone
Many businesses fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. It’s not going to happen. You can only ever hope to please a small portion of people.
You should deliver what those people want. And do it well. When you attempt to please everyone, you will probably become mediocre at everything. And you’ll end up pleasing no one.
All marketing should target someone, not “the general public” or “the masses”. It’s possible you’ll end up selling to “the masses”, but there’s a squirrel’s chance on an eight-lane highway you’ll get “the masses” to embrace your product immediately after launch.
This is what GoDaddy has done. They’ve become so big, they can profitably “target” everyone. They offer the lowest prices and a variety of services. But they do nothing particularly well (except pricing).
Then there’s Synthesis, a high-end web host. They offer hosting options for WordPress users. And they do this one thing exceptionally well.
If you’re just starting a blog, you’ll run away from their site when you see the prices. But if you’re serious about creating a blog and you want the best solution for it, then they offer just the right thing. (They don’t even offer email because “it’s not their thing”.)
What’s your thing?
What is it that customers buy from you? Is it quality? Is it cheap prices? Is it the experience? Figuring this out might be the most important thing you can do for your business.
Don’t waste your resources advertising something you won’t deliver. Instead focus intently on your core idea; what you’re the best at.
To survive you need to be the best at what you are about. But that’s not enough. You also need to understand how to make people believe you’re the best.
Check out the Premeditated Marketing Guide for ideas on how to get your message heard and believed.
And finally tell what is your thing. What is your business about, really. Do you compete on price or quality or something else? Share your story in the comments below.