how not to do customer service

How To Not To Do Customer Service

by on July 29, 2011

I encountered a situation with our web host today which was a great lesson for how not to do customer service. Here's what happened... I woke up this morning to discover that our all of our websites down. I checked a few things on our end and realized that it was not an issue of ours, but with our web host. I entered a "911" priority customer service ticket letting them know what the issue was and expecting them to quickly look into it.

Our web host also has a server status page on their website where they can update their customers of any service issues. I took a look at it and did not see any current issues listed. I was aware that they were migrating everyone older servers to newer servers, but it was supposed to have been done three days prior and the websites were only supposed to be down for 5 minutes in the middle of the night.

Bad Customer Service cartoon

After over an hour of patiently waiting, I could see that my customer support ticket still had not even been assigned to anyone. I clicked on their online chat to try and get some answers. Unfortunately, the chat agent proceeded to tell me that they did not handle customer support through chat, just sales and billing issues. I tried to call them, but their phone system said that they were not currently answering customer support phone calls.

After several hours, the issue finally got resolved and our websites were back up. Apparently, they did the server migration days after they were supposed to and ran into an issue which caused everyone's website to go down. I understand that these things happen from time to time in the IT world, but what was handled really badly was their customer service. Here are the mistakes that they made...

1. They did not update the server status on their website. This left customers wondering if the problem was with the web host or something on their own end.

2. When the going got tough, they stopped responding to customer service support tickets, emails, text messages or phone calls. They needed to at least let their customers know what was going on. They could have simply said that there was a problem with the server migration and they are looking into it.

3. They should have also updated their Facebook page and Twitter account with the current situation. People often look to these sources for up-to-date information.

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