So you want to know the secret to keeping customers happy? Answer your phone.

Unless you’ve been living in an isolation tank, you’ve experienced phone tree hell. You know that state where you’re trying to get a simple question answered, and after pressing too many buttons and 20 minutes on hold you discover the person at the other end of the line has to transfer you back onto another (the same?) hold line. Hold, rinse, repeat.

Two companies that break the mold (and have my loyalty) are Webroot and OneWorldHosting:

  • I have a multi-user subscription to Webroot’s Anti-Virus|Spysweeper software, and I needed to install it on my new netbook. Problem: no CD drive. Solution: one quick call (minimal phone tree and wait time), and they pulled up my account via my name and sent me a link to install the software. Problem solved. Happy customer.
  • Whether I’m asking about MYSQL version compatibility with a WordPress upgrade or trying to figure out how to back up my site, OneWorldHosting has friendly, knowledgeable techs who pick up the phone (no phone tree) and answer my question. Mega-loyal happy customer.

Sure, it’s not just about answering the phone–but this is a simple place to start. What are you doing to keep your customers happy?

Photo by Andy Mangold (Flickr).