Contrary to popular thinking, not all business is good business, and not all customers are good and happy customers.
Just like there are bad businesses out there, there are bad customers as well.
Every business, doesn’t matter what it’s selling, or what kind of service it’s providing, has at one point surely interacted with people who are just extremely difficult to work with.
They make every task, no matter how clear or trivial it may be, insanely hard to do.
The problem is that most of these bad customers know that they’re creating unnecessary problems, and they just don’t care. They’re not interested in cooperating or finding a common ground with the other party.
They want it their way, or no way.
For web hosting companies, those customers are ones who open up a lot of tickets and don’t interact well with support. They create difficult situations where there shouldn’t be any.
Some of you reading this are probably already thinking: “Why is this an issue? Terminate their accounts immediately! Send these awful people packing!”
Well, it’s not quite that easy
If you gathered a couple web hosting providers around the table and asked them what’s their worst nightmare, nine out of ten would almost instantly reply: “Bad press!”
Bad reputation in this industry spreads like wildfire, and it’s insanely hard to deal with. Most of these bad customers know that. There have been numerous cases where some of our competitors had to cave in and go out of their way to satisfy a couple of their clients from Hell, because they were threatening them with bad reviews.
Negative “press” on the internet, specifically on Social and Search Engine ratings can affect your profile and overall public opinion score.
The internet is the only medium in which you can achieve view saturation at such astronomical levels. If just one bad review creates a lot of noise, which isn’t impossible, you could have a pretty serious problem on your hands.
Picture this scenario: Your client is causing you unnecessary problems every single day. He’s demanding this and that, he doesn’t pay for your services on time and he’s rude to your Support. You try your hardest to work things out, but he doesn’t want to meet you halfway. He continues to exploit your kindness and treat your Support like dirt.
You took all you could take from that specific client, and you finally decide to fire him. You send him an email, informing him that you’re terminating his account in a couple of days, and that he should, in that time, transfer his business to a different host.
He flips out, and writes an awful review about your company and your service on almost every relevant site. This review gets for example 500 views, which means that 500 people who read that garbage will never ever do business with you. They tell their friends that your firm is terrible, who tell their friends, and so on, and so on. The number of people who think you provide an awful service is rapidly growing.
Now you have a serious problem on your hands. You gotta pay insane amounts of money in order to clear this bad press from the web. Even if you manage to do that, which is extremely difficult, there are still people out there who in their memory carry bad impressions about your business, even if they’re based on completely false allegations.
So, What Should I Do?
Well, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go with your gut. You have to stand your ground and fight this with common sense.
Before you decide to act and give a certain client the boot, you should always first ask yourself questions like:
- Is it really worth the bad press to terminate this account?
- Did we really do our best to meet this client halfway?
- Are we out of all other options?
- How really valuable is this client to us?
Be sure to exercise all your options before you decide to fire someone. Only go for this card when you’re all out of aces from your sleeves. Who knows, maybe there’s still a way on how you could work things out, without resorting to drastic measures.
Like Voltaire once said: “It is better to risk saving a guilty man, than to condemn an innocent one.”
In this industry, these kind of scenarios happen all the time. Yes, its aggravating, but that’s what web hosting is all about – providing good service and even better support, no matter what.
As a company who has been active in this industry since 2008, and who serves more than 10.000 big, medium and small clients all over the globe, we’ve been in every imaginable situation.
There we’re numerous scenarios where we had to act drastically and fire clients. For an example, there was this one case:
We have a policy at out company where we allow our clients to have only one account with us. One time, we had this one client who created multiple accounts with different names and email addresses. We notified him to stop, but he refused to apply. He continued to create fake accounts, so we had to fire him.
For the record, we only fire clients who host illegal content, treat our Support like garbage and ignore our requests. Why? – Well because we are not interested in low quality customers. AltusHost is a company that takes pride in providing great service. Unlike most other hosting companies, we have our own Hardware and Network infrastructure, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Stockholm, Sweden.
We don’t rent or resell from a larger provider. We use our very own Infrastructure.The benefit of this is that we are in full control of all we use to deliver our hosting services. Next to great deals and very attractive prices, our Award Winning 24/7 Technical Support team is what really sets us apart from other hosting companies and makes us the preferred choice of individuals and businesses worldwide.
We invested a lot of money in our business, we know that we offer great service, and so do our long-term clients. Thus, we’re not interested in hosting bad clients who don’t respect our time and efforts.
Everyone who has a brain in their head will instantly know if a certain review is written purely out of anger, or does it contain some real insight.
Knowing that there are intelligent and decent people out there who read these sort of things and who think before they decide to jump on board with a first hate comment they see, we are not scared of bad reviews anymore. A lot of people host their businesses on our servers and they recommend us to their friends, colleagues and business associates every single day.
We truly appreciate their trust, and we plan to do everything in our power to keep it.
So, the thing that I’m really trying to teach you here is to always try to work things out before you go decide to make an enemy out of someone who clearly wants blood. But, if things don’t work out, and you end up adding additional gas to an already burning fire, remember to stand your ground and protect your investment. Don’t be scared of bullies. If they sense they have an advantage over you, you’re doomed. They will torture you for the rest of your life.
Don’t let yourself get bullied just because you want to save face in a specific situation.
Trust me, people can tell if you’re falsely accused or not. The important is to have confidence in your decisions and your service.
That’s all for now. See you soon,
All the best,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.