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Be Nice to Web Hosting Support

By Mitch Keeler

I like to keep an eye on some of the larger forums and message boards who`s subjects are about Web hosting. Some might call it lurking, others might just call it creepy. How else am I going to find topics that people are interested in though? One subject that has always gotten my attention since day one of my Web hosting lifestyle is the fight between rude people and nice people. I`m not talking about the battle in a general sense, but how it compares when a Web hosting support person is dealing with them. Yes, even in Web hosting you still have to put up with rude customers.

Not many folks know that I spent some time as a cook in a fast food restaurant back when I was in high school. When flipping burgers like I could only do, on occasion I`d get somebody coming around the counter to tell me some bad news. No, my dog hadn`t died and all my toes were still there. What they told me could have hurt as much though. They said their burger wasn`t right. How was this? I always paid attention, I never slip!

Well, almost never. On the occasion when I did have a slip up I was always hopping it was a nice person I was dealing with. I`d rather deal with the person who just says, "Could you please do this over?" rather than the guy who tosses the meat patty in my face and asks for his money back. The same could be said about Web hosting.

When you are on the front lines of Web hosting support, you can sometimes get ten or twenty questions coming at you at once. You have to be ready with answers in one and coffee in the other. Knock them down, and get them quality answers as quickly as possible. Now let`s say you forgot to pay your Web hosting bill, and your account has become suspended. Who are you going to go to first? That Web hosting support person on the front line.

Being nice to him will help you get the work done faster than yelling at him and asking why they took your Web site away. Yelling and being mean doesn`t only stress you out, but it stresses your support person out as well. Stress plus twenty other questions coming at you at the same time doesn`t make for productive work. It makes for sloppy work. On the other hand, if you are nice and well mannered then you are an easier person to talk to, and an easier person to work with. Hence, no screaming equals a better job.

All customers are supposed to be created equal though right? Yes, this is true. However, there are some folks that will never be happy, no mater what you tell them. I used to like to call these folks the customers from Hell. Human nature tells you that you are going to get along better with the nice person than the mean one. You can try your best to get along with the mean one, but most of the time it just is not going to cut it.

So what can be learned? I`ve been in both positions, both as the support person and the person in distress. From my perspective, I always try to be nice to these people. I know about the long hours and little respect. It can get you down sometimes. From time to time though, you can get that little message from a grateful customer that makes it all seem right though. That is the reason I`m still in the Web hosting world myself. What is that magical little phrase? You would be surprised how far a well placed "Thank you" can go.





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