Do Your Subscribers Want the Kid-Glove Treatment?

by | Aug 29, 2018

You Can Be Successful Without Spending Much Time or Money on Customer Service

Decisions, decisions…price, quality or service — which two? The right choice isn’t always obvious. When it comes to positioning your services to meet your subscribers’ wants, you may think they appreciate the great service you give them — they should with all the money it costs you! But, unless they say that service is important to them, you can’t be sure.  

Customer service is one of the three ingredients that drive businesses to wild success. Quality products/service and low price are the other two ingredients. The trick is, wild success involves doing two of the three very well.

Think that you know what your subscribers appreciate about your WISP? Their answers may surprise you. Make an informed choice; learn which ingredients your subscribers value. Ask them to rank the importance of each in after-service surveys, social media or email and you may find that they like your quality broadband and competitive price the best. Read on to discover how you can leverage these ingredients to dominate.

The Google Effect: Low Price and High Quality

If all indications show that your subscribers rank kid-glove service last, look to the star of low price – high quality, Google.
The service they provide couldn’t be any cheaper – it’s free. Plus, they are the definitive search engine company and their services are considered to be of the highest quality. But, if you have a question about how to use their services, how do you reach Google? Do you know how to find their support phone numbers?

Google doesn’t paste their support phone number on their websites, like most businesses. If you click on Google Support, you’ll be presented with an FAQ and access to the help knowledge base. However, you can do a Google search for a phone number, but it requires you to take an extra step.  That’s because Google’s technology is so good that their email and Google Docs features are so stable and easy to use, that there’s often no need for customers to contact them. Plus, they only utilize human support when customers can’t get support from the online wizards or platforms. Individuals who prefer Google products — which is the majority of internet surfers — forgo the direct human customer support for a better online experience for no cost.
So, how does a profit-minded WISP apply this principle? If you provide non-throttling broadband that is available 99 percent of the time at a competitive price and your subscribers love you for it, then you can limit customer service availability.

Using Voicemail and Email as Customer Service

Just as you do with all of your services, be straightforward with how you respond to customer requests for service. Sure, you need a dedicated phone number for subscribers to contact you, but automate how they report outages, get answers about their bill or discuss service options. Forward calls to a voicemail with a message that:  

  • Confirms their report has been received
  • Says the issue is being addressed
  • They’ll receive notification when the issues are resolved

Better yet, beat complainers to the punch by sending an email or text message telling your subscribers that there is an outage in their area that’s being addressed. Follow-up with a message when the issue is resolved. 
Although this may seem like additional work, it’s proactive at reducing angry subscriber call-ins. And, this type of automation is less expensive than a full-time dedicated employee who fields complaint calls all day. 
What other forms of automated support can you provide your subscriber base? Can you forward support calls to an FAQ or instructional videos that provide answers to the most common questions? 
There may be customers who grouse about the lack of service, but you can explain that your WISP prefers to dedicate time and money to a stable network and to keep the fees competitive.
Now that you understand all three ingredients to success, which two will be your focus? 

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Know Your Customers to Win Big

Yes, outstanding customer service will pay off in the long-run. The real point is that the payoff comes when you know your customers and focus your service, marketing and retention efforts on subscribers like them because they are a fit to your WISP. These customers are willing to pay your fees and they complain the least, and you don’t have to work as hard to get them on-board or to retain them.

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