have any questions for me

I’ve been so busy this summer that I’ve really fallen off in my blogging. I suppose it happens to all bloggers, but I really want to kick things back in motion. Since I’ve also done a poor job keeping up with my feeds I’m a bit short on general blogging fodder so I thought instead it might be interesting to fields questions from readers. So if you have any questions for me please post them here. I’ll then pick a few and respond via a dedicated post. I’ll also try and answer everyone’s questions in the comments if I don’t do a post on the question.

Note, I won’t be responding below until after I choose a few questions to respond to towards the end of the week.

I’m open ended on the questions so whatever you’ve got. Business, HelpSpot, other, it’s all on the table.

great customer service should always come at a premium

A nice customer service story which demonstrates a great point to small ISV’s out there. You should pretty much always charge a premium for great customer service. In fact, it’s worth letting customers go away and come back as long as you can really live up to your end. I’ve already made dozens of decent size sales where people tried HelpSpot, then tried another help desk tool and finally came back to HelpSpot because they couldn’t get their questions answered, get timely support and so on.

This is a really important consideration when working out your maintenance pricing. If you’re providing top notch customer support make sure you’re charging for it. Don’t be tempted to simply match the competition or under cut them. People like to pay for the best as long as you really are.

self service and outsourcing

http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Default.asp?ArticleID=6268

As customer service organizations continue to look at ways to reduce operational costs, drive greater productivity, and enable users to help themselves, many businesses have made the adoption of customer self-service a key priority. At the same time the economics of outsourcing remain compelling, especially in countries like India and the Philippines, where labor costs continue to be significantly lower than in the United States, Europe, or parts of Asia, such as Korea.

But can companies make up for the potential loss of customer intimacy if clients are helping themselves online, or chatting with other users in a forum, rather than interacting with the firm’s agents? If a business chooses to outsource and another company is answering the client’s phones (or emails or chats), does that enterprise face the same risks? And what about political issues? Is it more acceptable to replace staff with a support portal versus an offshore call center?