Keeping customers happy

Over the last couple of years, we’ve noticed an increasing amount of new customers coming to us with first- or second-generation websites, complaining about their existing web developer.
More often than not, they complain that their designer is unresponsive to their requests, uninterested in further development, or charges what the customer feels to be an unreasonable amount for small changes. Customer service has usually gone out of the window, and the relationship between the customer and the developer has broken down.

When dealing with customers, maintaining high-levels of customer service is paramount. This is how you keep customers, at least in my opinion.
Unfortunately, many freelance or solo web developers become victims of their own success. They get to the point where they are saturated with work, and it is at this point that the problems can arise. It’s easy to become so busy doing the work that it’s hard to stop and make sure that they maintain that essential relationship with their customers, which includes:

  • Answering e-mails in a timely fashion
  • Completing the task within a reasonable time-frame
  • Keeping their customers informed

It’s a trap that’s all too easy to fall into (I know, I’ve been there too!) But there are very simple solutions, which result in increased customer satisfaction.

  • If a customer sends an e-mail, try to ensure that you answer it promptly. Setting aside an hour or so a day just for the purpose of reading and answering e-mails can work well.
  • Schedule a time when you will do the work, and tell the customer about it. They will then know when to expect a solution.
  • If you can’t meet the deadline, let the customer know and give a revised time estimate.
  • Do what you say you will, when you will
  • Maintain a pleasant but professional tone to your emails whenever possible.

If you manage to do all of the above, your customers should keep coming back to you with more business. It’s not always possible – we’re all human and we make mistakes. But if you try your best, then most of your customers will be happy with your service.