Customers who want "too much" support, incessant support tickets

30 replies
Hi - though a thankfully very rare (less than 1-2%) issue, I do occasionally run into the type of customer (usually elderly and/or aol) that needs a bunch of handholding.

I'm a big fan of proactive, friendly customer service; in fact I'll often call customers personally on the phone (much to their surprise) to help them with login or download help.

And I always respond to emails/support tickets within 60 minutes to 12 hours. I'm hyper responsive and responsible.

But on rare occasion, i get a customer that every month will contact me asking for their login /pass info, though they've been sent it multiple times. Or ask many questions that are already clearly answered in the FAQs. etc...

any insights? I guess it's cost-of-doing business; I just don't want to waste a ton of support time on the very few who don't follow directions or are lonely and want too much support or whatever. As business continues to grow, I need to set boundaries, and realize you don't want the business of some people. I try and be polite the first 2-3 times they ask the same question, but patience wears thin for those that don't follow clear directions, or want too much personal access under the guise of support.
#customers #incessant #support #tickets #too much
  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Problem about FAQ is most people don't even look at them.

    I don't. Most of the time, the questions in there are so stupid I wonder if ANY customer has ever asked them. Instead, I'd build help elements into places where the person could find them while using the product. In other words, if the login info was a common issue, I would put a "lost my login info" near the login form on my site.

    ...and I'd hire someone asap to answer those tickets.
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    "I've bought your book but it doesn't go out of the CDROM".

    "I'm poor, I have four kids and I'd love to buy your book but I can't afford it" (book about a popular online game).

    "I've uploaded the copy, why don't I have any sales?
    - What is your daily traffic?
    - My WHAT?"

    "While I was reading your eBook (it was a PDF) my computer broke down and I want compensations to fix my computer". (TOS, disclaimers and legal are actually good from time to time)

    'nuff said ... only product owners or self-employees can understand the absurdity of some situations.

    To answer your question: refund them or stop answering their emails. You should have some hard limits for how much time a single person can get from you. I personally prefer to refund $50, $100, $200 instead of investing 100 - 200 - 300% more time with one person than with any other one in the system. Or you can always outsource this which is not such a bad idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Someone sent me a support message last week saying they signed up for a product a few years ago and although they have not yet tried their log in, they wanted to know if it still worked.

    Of course, no indication of what their log in is. I was expected to try and figure it out.

    I didn't waste my time responding.

    It's one thing to provide great customer support. Quite another to be run ragged by idiots who don't care about your time. Ken, don't let them do that to you.

    I'll give bad buyers their money back and terminate the relationship before allowing them to abusively suck the fun out of my business and valuable time out of my life. On the other hand, I'll do what it takes spend whatever time is necessary to help out good customers. I love my customers.

    Those who continually ask for the same thing, or want support well beyond the nature of the product, or who can't be bothered to use time-saving automated support like a FAQ, aren't really customers in my book.

    While we're ranting here, this falls in the same category. In a recent post I had suggested setting up a Google Alert to get notices about a topic. Someone sent me a private message asking where they could get more information about Google Alerts. Come on. Instead of asking me to spend my time - do a search. I did provide a pleasant response and tried to convert the request into a positive experience with friendly advice so perhaps they will be my customer in the future - but I don't get the mindset of asking someone a question like that.

    Anyway Ken, enough of my thoughts. Why don't you just skip your product and need for customer service and tell me what stocks to buy and when to do so?

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    great points, thanks - makes sense; refund/get rid of bad customers is a great solution, especially since they're so thankfully rare (just 2 really time-wasting ones this last few months; but they Really wasted my time). Brian your phrase "Quite another to be run ragged by idiots who don't care about your time" applies 110% perfectly to these two people, who didn't follow rules, read directions or make an effort to be responsible.

    one thing I do is blacklist any troublemakers in 1SC so they can't order ever again, so that helps. i wish paypal had a manual blacklist feature, to ward off /prevent time-leeching bad customers.

    the good news is that bad customers, dishonest/time vampires usually 'show their colors' soon, so I'll probably try and 'nip it in the bud' by letting them know (or make a FAQ/guidelines/TOS/rule) that it's their responsibility to do what they're supposed to
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  • Profile picture of the author Highway55
    There are people in the world - no matter how much guidance you give them - that will never get it. It's the nature of people - like the one guy in every neighborhood who doesn't know he's a loud pain in the ass.

    Be firm and direct. If they don't approve or have issue with that - refund their money and move on. And, never take it personal. You can't make everyone happy, all the time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      I still hold a day job and do tech support for a big-name company whose name you'd know. And I deal with this. All. The. Time.

      It is soul-sucking. Unfortunately, you can't fix stupid.

      For now, establish clear boundaries. You can refund them or otherwise get rid of them. As your business grows, make it clear how they can solve their own problems (reset their own password, etc.). If they want further handholding, you DO offer it -- for an additional fee. Make the fee fairly high.

      They'll figure out how to use the self-support tools in a hurry.

      It's also a nice way to avoid saying No to a customer. "Yes, we can help with that. As soon as your payment of $X is received, please call us at 123-456-7859 and we'd be happy to help."

      They'll still complain about being charged an extra fee. But they can't say you don't/won't help or provide support.

      Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    . . . i get a customer that every month will contact me asking for their login /pass info, though they've been sent it multiple times.

    Ken,

    Put their login and password in an autoresponder message set to be delivered on the first day of every month.

    If that doesn't work, set up a 900 number where you get paid each time someone calls it - say $10/minute. Send this to the time wasters as your customer care number.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Highway55
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Ken,

      Put their login and password in an autoresponder message set to be delivered on the first day of every month.

      Steve
      That's a creative solution!
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    That's a good idea, Michelle, thanks. Having some kind of boundaries, also clearly posted in the TOS and near the order button, like "By ordering, you agree:

    a) to limit support tickets to no more than (1) per month (included); additional support tickets may be purchased for $__ per incident.
    b) to read the FAQ prior to contacting us; questions that are already answered there cannot be individually answered due to the volume of emails we get, etc
    c)

    I find it's best to refund/disassociate with bad/dishonest/lazy customers sooner rather than later... it never gets better; the bad ones are who they are. Maybe they're bored and lonely. Or just difficult. As long as they're a tiny percentage, which they are, showing them the door, politely but firmly, is good.

    It's good to be able to a) prevent problem customers from causing problems in the first place by having rules/TOS that are clear and visible, so you can point to them later and say "sorry but you're not following our guidelines, should I go ahead and cancel/refund your service?" and b) be able to identify early warning signs, to head trouble off proactively.

    Support is always a two-sided discussion; in a perfect world everyone wants instant world-class service with a smile... til a few troublemaking "time vampires" waste your valuable time; they're best gently but firmly shown the front door. At least I've blacklisted the few bad folks in my shopping cart, so that helps. And creating how-to videos for "how to login to your site" to explain things, is helpful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      That's a good idea, Michelle, thanks. Having some kind of boundaries, also clearly posted in the TOS and near the order button, like "By ordering, you agree:

      a) to limit support tickets to no more than (1) per month (included); additional support tickets may be purchased for per incident.
      b) to read the FAQ prior to contacting us; questions that are already answered there cannot be individually answered due to the volume of emails we get, etc.
      Be careful how you word it. You can turn off legitimate customers with this wording.

      I wouldn't say "You agree to limit support tickets to no more than one per month." That would be a huge turn off to me as a prospective buyer. There are always legitimate concerns that will require more than one e-mail.

      Instead, I'd say something like "We love our customers and fully support all of our products and services. All customers may submit one tech support incident per month, free of charge. Additional incidents are provided at a rate of $X/incident."

      That wording needs some work, but you get the idea.

      Then, you can choose to charge on a case by case basis. But wording is important.

      I recently purchased some software that was NOT working the way it should. Their tech support was very good and pretty quick to respond, but it still took some back and forth to clarify the issue and then get it resolved. If they'd told me that "You agree to limit support tickets to no more than one per month" and then found out their software wasn't working, I would have been TICKED.

      Don't alienate the 98% who are good customers.

      Because I do tech support and I'm online all the time anyway, I already have some tech savvy and always read/follow directions before contacting support anyway. Occasionally, I misunderstand, but I hope I'm not a PITA customer for anyone.

      However, I deal with them all day long, every day. People who yell at us because their internet speed is slow, but come to find out it's their browser.

      People who don't know the difference between a search bar and an address bar.

      People who can't find a single URL to save their lives.

      Etc.

      Arrgghhh! I feel your pain.

      Customer service these days isn't really customer service. It's babysitting. (And if you think that's harsh, you haven't done it yet!)

      Hope that helps!

      Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Just do the support courteously. Nuts tend to move on after a few exchanges. It's a part of life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    Been there done that. As you said, thankfully it is rare. Many of my customers are newbies, so I get all kinds of questions. Surprising how many folks don't know what a zip file is or what to do with it.

    I don't know if this would work for you, but I make short reports, PDF's explaining how to do something. Usually come from being asked the same question several times. I then point people to those reports. Has worked well for me.

    While most people don't read the FAQs page, least with a good FAQs page, you have a place to send people to, instead of taking your time to answer their questions. Like, "This page explains everything. Let me know if it helps."

    For me personally, I can't see telling some one I won't help them any more, or to not reply to their emails or support requests. That one person who might be a pain, could turn into a repeat long term customer that spends alot of money. I know I've seen many people I've helped come back to buy again and again. Or they could tell others and bring in new customers.

    Let's be honest, some IMer's or Guru's don't help their customers.I've had people resell my products (some well know) they don't support the customers and the customers come to me. So if your that one person that went out of your way to help them, you could be the hero and you could create some raving fans and long term buyers. They might even ask about something else, you give them an affiliate link and you make a sale. They trust you now and like you, so they are more likely to purchase on your recommendation.

    Course this is my opinion. As said, they are rare, so it's not like your spending a ton of time on many people. I just push through helping that one person, be nice and hopefully they are taken care of. Some times I even let emails or support tickets sit for a little bit, to calm down, regain my composure, get in a better frame of mind, ect.

    I can only remember one person who I stopped helping, was for very good reasons.

    Just my thoughts
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    Great points; makes sense... thanks for the insights. right re not knowing what a zip file is, or how to Right click on a link to download something...amazing how many (elderly/aol) people have no tech savvy... and agree Michelle re wording to not turn off potential customers is smart.

    question is who do you want as customers -- in the 2 hours it takes me to do a lot of service/support for the one occasional time vampire, I could've created a video/special report/article that could've benefitted hundreds of others... and made 35x the sales income vs the one person's too-much customer service needs.

    from star trek, the needs of the many outweigh needs of the one.

    devils' advocate, agree sometimes it pays off, by bending over backwards you get a lot of repeat business; I try to do that all the time, within reason though

    from my corporate consulting days, I remember having posted "effective meeting guidelines' helped a lot; I'll work on a short list of "I agree that: a) b) c)" in the area before order links, to have well-defined rules/TOS; eg "by ordering, I agree that...." so we're all clear ahead of time.

    eventually i'll do a friendly video, eg "to help things run smoothly, here's a few guidelines I ask that you follow when ordering...first...second..." etc posted near order forms.

    It's helpful to remember there are dishonest or drunk/high or toxic or just lonely-have-nothing-better-to-do-than-repeatedly-ask-for-support-they-don't-really-need people out there, who generally may not be good customers longterm; their behavior indicates what kind of person they are; repeated bad behavior I suppose is a warning sign.
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  • Profile picture of the author IrisMKH
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    Hi - though a thankfully very rare (less than 1-2%) issue, I do occasionally run into the type of customer (usually elderly and/or aol) that needs a bunch of handholding.
    While I don't have any customers. I experience a lot of similar situations when helping out friends and family.
    In my opinion, the big difference is whether they want to learn or not.
    It can be mind blowing how out of touch some people are - I once had to show a 24 year old how to open a salt jar and how to put the salt in cooking water. But that guy never had to be told twice. Other people just start to abuse your relationship. Always asking, never learning.

    Disassociating like you are already doing seems the best course of action to me, even when you hire helping hands for the number of support tickets you get.
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    "sorry but you're not following our guidelines, should I go ahead and cancel/refund your service?".
    That sounds to me like a generous and efficient way to deal with it. It doesn't give off "I wanna get rid of you" vibes, it's rather saying "at your service!".
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  • Profile picture of the author knishida
    Sounds like the old 80/20 rule…20% of your customers will take up 80% of your time. You're lucky that in your case it's just 2% of your customers!

    So many great suggestions here. If they are just clueless, then I personally wouldn't cut off support unless your price point is really low. If you sense they are being manipulative or disrespectful of your time, then I would refund them.

    Bottom line is do what feels right to you. Don't let a couple of bad and/or clueless customers suck all the fun out of your business.

    Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author MattBnB
    premium products should help eliminate riff raff
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    true about premium products, I have a ladder from 'free' up to much higher, it's Always problems w/riff raff at lowest price points, attracts marginal customers
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  • Profile picture of the author Romeo90
    I guess it's part of online selling.

    I sell on eBay, and used to sell a particular physical product that was pretty technical and not for the technically inept. I would get question after question on eBay about setting the thing up. In the end, I decided to stop selling the damn thing.

    As for digital products and 'support'. it is especially annoying when a support question comes in, and it asks a really basic question that is answered in the product they have bought.

    A video and eBook course I used to sell - had free templates for eBay. I had numerous questions - how do I upload the template and edit it. It would have been a fair question, though there was a 6 page guide that answered this in the eBook, as well as a 15 minute video that walked them through it.
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  • Profile picture of the author PinkStar
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    But on rare occasion, i get a customer that every month will contact me asking for their login /pass info, though they've been sent it multiple times.
    But this is something that you probably could improve. On almost all logins there is a link to click if you lost your password. Don't you have that or is it not visible enough?
    Also, in the e-mail sent update it with a "Save this e-mail" because alot of people probably delete out of habit.

    I too rarely read the faq because I usually don't find the answer anyway. And alot of faq's are not searchable or have a collapsed menu and you have to go through a looong page with random Q's and A's...
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  • Profile picture of the author Melissahoster
    Banned
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    Hi - though a thankfully very rare (less than 1-2%) issue, I do occasionally run into the type of customer (usually elderly and/or aol) that needs a bunch of handholding.

    I'm a big fan of proactive, friendly customer service; in fact I'll often call customers personally on the phone (much to their surprise) to help them with login or download help.

    And I always respond to emails/support tickets within 60 minutes to 12 hours. I'm hyper responsive and responsible.

    But on rare occasion, i get a customer that every month will contact me asking for their login /pass info, though they've been sent it multiple times. Or ask many questions that are already clearly answered in the FAQs. etc...

    any insights? I guess it's cost-of-doing business; I just don't want to waste a ton of support time on the very few who don't follow directions or are lonely and want too much support or whatever. As business continues to grow, I need to set boundaries, and realize you don't want the business of some people. I try and be polite the first 2-3 times they ask the same question, but patience wears thin for those that don't follow clear directions, or want too much personal access under the guise of support.
    There are stupid people and there are tire kickers. I hate both. Get rid of the ASAP and move on. They can affect your positive energy with continuous nagging.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    For me I don't have an endless supply of traffic or customers. So I am going to do my best to keep what I do have, happy and coming back. If that means taking 15 minutes to write an email, that's what I do. I don't think twice about it.

    Many people talk about great customer service, but few back it up. It's a part of business and should be a part of business.

    To me, this also goes back to personal branding. I go out of my way to help some one, they may not buy from me again tomorrow, next work or next month. But maybe they will see my forum post and click my signature links. Or maybe they see my WSO, recognize the name and buy. They also might be more apt to share my content on social media. Who knows.

    Do you want to be the person that blew them off, or the one with patience that helped them?

    For me, I think about the number of products I sell compared to how many people I end up helping. It's a reminder that in the big picture, I don't really have to help that many.

    Personally I don't agree with the thought that low priced items bring in riff-raff. I sell low ticket items all day long and I don't get the riff-raff. For me, even if they spend only $1.99, they are a a proven buyer with the ability to pay. That $1.99 customer could spend $100 or more next time.

    Funny, the low ticket products bring in the bad folks talk is coming up. Just about any good marketing product, email marketing product or sales funnel product, the big key is to get your prospects to buy something as soon as possible, even if it's a buck. Proves they are a buyer, have the ability to pay and are put on your buyers list. Would this not be attracting the riff raff?

    Marketers don't want low ticket buyers, no problem. I'll take them all day long

    Then again, maybe my experience has been different.

    Just my opinions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rainee
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    ...I'm a big fan of proactive, friendly customer service; in fact I'll often call customers personally on the phone (much to their surprise) to help them with login or download help.

    And I always respond to emails/support tickets within 60 minutes to 12 hours. I'm hyper responsive and responsible.

    Your actions are setting up the bad behavior you're speaking of.

    Friendly customer service is all good - just have someone else do it. Especially with $5/hr task like login/download help.

    If you want to be treated with respect, you have to show people you value yourself at a higher level than personally making phone calls for menial activities.

    If you manage their expectations upfront, you will virtually eliminate customer service headaches.


    But on rare occasion, i get a customer that every month will contact me asking for their login /pass info, though they've been sent it multiple times. Or ask many questions that are already clearly answered in the FAQs. etc...

    As for "I always respond to emails/support tickets within 60 minutes to 12 hours," if you're a one-man-army like me, you want to extend that out...at least to 3 days/72 hours.

    Why? Because you want to train your customers to be self-reliant.

    They're contacting you about issues that can be resolved with a quick YouTube search; or, as you stated, your FAQs.

    Will they be angry for having to wait 3 days for a response? Not if you manage their expectations appropriately.

    In the first email they receive from you, you let them know your standard operating procedure for handling customer service.

    And make that a great thing...

    "I'll rush to respond within 3 business days. And, I'll respond personally because it's important to me to stay connected with my customers.

    That's why I don't outsource my customer service to some third world country. Yes, you could get a 24 hour response if I passed you over to some faceless person in India; but, I value our relationship more than that so I respond personally...within 3 quick business days"

    You set the frame.

    And for those who still step over the line, make a surcharge for extended customer service.

    You can word the email something like this...

    "Thanks so much for your question and I'll answer in just a sec but first I have to let you know this product does not include one on one coaching.

    If there's a product defect, then of course, I'd expect you to contact me. But in certain situations -- like this particular email request -- it's an indicator to me that you may be a great match for our gold club customer service upgrade.

    As a gold club member, you get to email me once a week! And, I'd love to have you in the club if you have more question like the one I'm going to answer for you right now.

    (Answer their question)

    Let me know if you want to upgrade to the gold club for more personalized weekly support and I'll send you the invoice to take care of the payment."

    That's just a ruff guide, but I'm sure you get the point.

    Now, I'm sure this goes without saying, but just in case...

    This email reply/answer needs to be direct, brief and to the point. No friendly chit-chat if you want them to take your "gold club" seriously.

    Just set clear boundaries and if they continue with the bad behavior, give them their money back and tell them you can't help them.

    Your business is there to serve not just your customers but your health, finances and relationships.

    Bottom-line: Only take money from great customers!

    Rainee

    P.S.
    Never ignore people who have invested money in your products or services. They can buy from anyone, yet they chose you.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    great post, Mike, very sincere and makes sense... true Rainee, it's All about boundaries, and good point about not ignoring people who've bought (especially in this economy!).

    Happy ending to the recent issue that caused me to post this in the first place; I communicated with a 4-paragraph thoughtful email to the latest troublesome/multi-ticket customer, about why I could'nt keep going on with him like this...(for the last 6 months, before every webinar he sends me help how do i login to a webinar questions, and i answered every time, getting ever-more-frustrated) and after a day he got back to me with a long apologetic email, explaining why he thought he was having initial problems (logging into websites), and promised to not send in support tickets anymore.

    so the lesson learned from this latest exchange (and it bothered me, because a) I want to help everyone to the best of my ability, within reason, and b) I like to find solutions together), are:

    a) proactively have detailed FAQ sections, with pictures and/or video, and 'dumb it down' so a "little new grandma who just got her first computer could understand it" level instructions

    b) have clearly defined boundaries and rules/Terms of Service near the order form and also in the FAQ area, that sets the tone for what's included, what's not

    c) when a rare troublemaking customer comes along, resist the temptation to 'fire them' right off the bat (that used to be hard for me), and instead gently explain whys, reasons, and ask them for what they'd like to do

    d) if a great resolution, that's a win. if they persist on being difficult, if they're rude or not respectful at least, then disengage/refund/cancel them and move on.

    it can very challenging, dealing with people who don't RTFM, or follow instructions with pictures, but their business is also appreciated within reason..

    to customer service with a smile,

    k

    p.s. as a side note, I didn't get the apologetic "sorry for bothering you from now on I'll read the directions" email from this customer until After I cancelled/refunded him; then he sent in the email promising no more troublesome repetitive support tickets, if I'd let him rejoin. So I had to show him I was serious; merely asking him to stop didn't do it, I had to 'fire' him first, before he realized the error of his ways. what a waste of my valuable time. but at least customer relationship rebuilt w/boundaries, so it's a win
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    • Profile picture of the author Rainee
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      great post, Mike, very sincere and makes sense... true Rainee, it's All about boundaries, and good point about not ignoring people who've bought (especially in this economy!).

      Happy ending to the recent issue that caused me to post this in the first place; I communicated with a 4-paragraph thoughtful email to the latest troublesome/multi-ticket customer, about why I could'nt keep going on with him like this...(for the last 6 months, before every webinar he sends me help how do i login to a webinar questions, and i answered every time, getting ever-more-frustrated) and after a day he got back to me with a long apologetic email, explaining why he thought he was having initial problems (logging into websites), and promised to not send in support tickets anymore.

      so the lesson learned from this latest exchange (and it bothered me, because a) I want to help everyone to the best of my ability, within reason, and b) I like to find solutions together), are:

      a) proactively have detailed FAQ sections, with pictures and/or video, and 'dumb it down' so a "little new grandma who just got her first computer could understand it" level instructions

      b) have clearly defined boundaries and rules/Terms of Service near the order form and also in the FAQ area, that sets the tone for what's included, what's not

      c) when a rare troublemaking customer comes along, resist the temptation to 'fire them' right off the bat (that used to be hard for me), and instead gently explain whys, reasons, and ask them for what they'd like to do

      d) if a great resolution, that's a win. if they persist on being difficult, if they're rude or not respectful at least, then disengage/refund/cancel them and move on.

      it can very challenging, dealing with people who don't RTFM, or follow instructions with pictures, but their business is also appreciated within reason..

      to customer service with a smile,

      k

      p.s. as a side note, I didn't get the apologetic "sorry for bothering you from now on I'll read the directions" email from this customer until After I cancelled/refunded him; then he sent in the email promising no more troublesome repetitive support tickets, if I'd let him rejoin. So I had to show him I was serious; merely asking him to stop didn't do it, I had to 'fire' him first, before he realized the error of his ways. what a waste of my valuable time. but at least customer relationship rebuilt w/boundaries, so it's a win
      Exactly!

      As Entrepreneurs we have to remember we're different from those who think they have to shut-up and take it.

      We change things.

      If something is wrong, we work to make it right.

      Great job in fixing this customer service issue so you and your customers are both served at the highest level.

      Rainee
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      • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
        Ken,

        I think you need to personally disconnect from customer service and have someone else with more patience and less judgment deal with your "troublesome" customers.

        You don't know what's going on in their lives to make them this way (sometimes it's a temporary rough patch in what would otherwise put them in your 98% category), and you also can't be certain in many cases that it's not an obstacle you or your technology actually created.

        In addition, many times there's something valuable you can learn from complaints and problems about how to improve your operations.

        If you look at the amount of money you'd save from not refunding people you would rather not personally deal with - but others wouldn't mind - and compare it with the cost of having a virtual assistant (not an employee) handle those 2% cases, I believe you'd come out way, way ahead with the VA option.

        Frankly, I'm saddened at the amount of contempt for some customers that showed up in this thread.

        Haven't we all been in the position of having to ask stupid or annoying questions sometimes in order to get our needs met?

        Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    But on rare occasion, i get a customer that every month will contact me asking for their login /pass info, though they've been sent it multiple times. Or ask many questions that are already clearly answered in the FAQs. etc...
    A few options for ya:

    1) Unsubscribe them from your list
    2) Refund them
    3) Blacklist them from future products
    4) Don't respond
    5) Explain that your support isn't 1 on 1 coaching
    6) Hire someone to respond to support questions

    Not exactly some of the 'friendliest' responses one can receive...

    But just like 'negative nancies' out there...

    There will be some customers who will need your help putting sunblock on their back when they go to the beach...

    Which you'll know because they will email you while it's 3 AM your time.

    Anyway, I don't prefer having customers like this (for obvious reasons).

    But many times you simply need to fire them.

    The extra stress, annoyance, and wasting of time just isn't worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    When people submit questions have the form look in your FAQ and say, "do ones of these help" before it's submitted. Most bigger companies do this now.

    Some forums do to when someone creates a thread. Wish this one did. That's a different topic though.

    -g
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    Hi Marcia, I understand your points. I'm not talking about occasional rare disruptive or annoying customers; I'm referring to those who send weekly or more often support tickets, over a course of months, asking things which are already answered clearly in FAQ/video help, which is clearly outside the scope of what most of us consider normal and typical support. Agree re VAs would help, as business grows. Right Garrie, good idea about in the help ticket system perhaps remind them even more obviously to "please check the FAQ first".

    In this instance, my customer said he finally read the FAQ and it answered his questions. I call my FAQ areas, FAQ, or "Help Center" or "Resource Center", in big obvious easy-to-read letters. Any ideas, anyone on other ways to get customers to check the FAQ Before sending in constant support tickets?

    Occasional questions are fine, what we're referring to here is customers who over a course of months still send in repeated questions (which are answered in depth in FAQ sections), mostly because they want access to me personally, or may be bored and want to talk / chat, the truth is not that they actually needed help, as that was already provided, repeatedly. That's a challenge as one becomes more famous in one's niche, is if you still do all support yourself, as I do, the reasons for customers reaching out are often for more personal/human contact with the guru/teacher they like, not actually because they need help. So agree, a VA would make sense; thanks - that would solve that issue.

    I've got a ton of "great customer service" testimonials on my sites (I often have reached out to personally call customers on the phone to help them, in addition to near-instant support ticket answering); that may be a dual-edged sword as people want to experience that level of service...again a VA would help solve that, too. Thanks, Marcia, good ideas as usual. The neat thing is that it builds a ton of customer loyalty, since most of my competitors are much slower or ignore customers; I try to do it world-class, hyper-responsive... but that doesn't work well for the rare people who take advantage of/over-use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author InfoKop
    There's no getting away from them unfortunately. Your best bet is to employ a VA who handles all of your support tickets so you don't have to.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Simple. 2 options.

    1) Charge them for additional support.

    Free support should be basic.

    Hire someone to do customer service with the money you make.

    2) Charge more for all of your products.

    Hire someone to do customer service with the money you make.
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