To all my readers and followers, please keep in mind that I have now moved over to my new blog, Father Nature's Corner, so Cedar's Mountain is now on a semi-permanent hiatus.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Superior...Customer...Service?

One of the many things that I had to deal with while I was on vaca was bad customer service.

Unlike the previous times in which I had dealt with a business entity that had a physical location (like CVS), today's post features an entity with no physical location. Instead it was an online business, one of which that quite a few of you may use on your blog.

Sitemeter.

I have been using Sitemeter almost from the get go, and up until very recently been quite happy with those basic services ('cause you know, I ain't in this for the money). But now, after the experience I'm about to relate to you, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone looking for a depending tracking service.

About a month ago, I stopped getting my weekly stats reports. I didn't really worry about it at the time, since the system would often hiccup and the way it was usually fixed was when I put in ticket for tech support.

However, this time, after I had requested the current report to be sent (which would also fix the problem) and waited about several hours, I didn't get the report. So I tried it again and when I'd checked my e-mail the next day, still no report.

Miffed, I tried it with a new e-mail addy (got four of those), and still no report for either of my blogs (this one and my book blog) was received. So I did what any normal person would do: I filed a request with tech support to get it fixed.

Four times.

Yup, I filed a request with tech support to get it fixed four times, and not once did anyone get back to me to follow up on my request/complaint.

Eventually, after waiting in vain for about two weeks for something to be done, I decided to fix it myself. My fix was radically simple: I changed the frequency from once a week to "never" and will now manually access and print out my stats report.

Now some of you out there may be saying to yourself, "G.B., you only got the freebie version, so you get what you pay for."

While on the surface that may be true, that logic really doesn't hold water in the blogsphere. After all, the website host that we use to house our blogs is relatively free, isn't it? And hasn't the customer service been pretty decent?

So let's look at it from this angle. If, as a web business owner, you offer two versions of your product (one free and one pay), wouldn't it make sense to offer the same level of customer service to the ones that get the free version of your product that you give to the premium member?

Because, after all, isn't the main goal of growing a web business is to acquire paying customers for your product?

If you have crappy customer service for your free product, how in the world are you going to covert those freebies into payers?

You're not.

People are not going to upgrade what they use if you have either a crappy product (i.e. Vista) or crappy customer service (i.e. Federal Government).

So what does this mean in the overall scheme for me?

I'll keep using Sitemeter, if only as a glorified tracking system, but that's about it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and for a longstanding user of the product to say that really means that this website customer service has risen to the occasion and showed everyone what an Achilles heel it truly is.

10 comments:

  1. I haven't used it, and given your issues I probably never will. It helps to hear this kind of thing, saves other folks some time.

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  2. Don't have a clue what Sitemeter is. Sorry for your troubles. If you are mad about it, so am I:)

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  3. If they can't be bothered to provide proper customer service for the free version of their software, they shouldn't bother to supply a free version.

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  4. I have support issues at work. I can follow the guidelines and put in a ticket and no one will contact you from support.

    Now I have the direct line to support and if they don't call me back I call them.

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  5. Charles: It normally takes a lot bad customer service all in one shot for me to not only give up on using a product, and this one was a doozy, but to let people know exactly how I feel about it.

    G.A.: Sitemeter is a gadget/widget that you can add to your blog that tracks where your visitors come from. It can also tell you how many pageviews you get, how many visits per day and the average length of visit. If you combine it with Blogger's analytical tab, you can get a reasonably accurate view of how popular your blog may be.

    S.R.: My point exactly. The main way to have your customers pay for your product is to provide outstanding customer service for both versions of your product. If you can't be bothered to do it right the first time, why should I be bothered to pay for a premium product?

    Bearman: I'm kind of in the same boat. I usually call them direct if I have a tech problem with my computer at work, and they'll pretty much can fix right then and there.

    If it's with the financial program that I use, then the issue becomes a little trickier.

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  6. Tech support certainly seems to be an oxymoron.

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  7. I don't use sitemeter either, but I receive a crappy service from Blogger. I have some issues about managing the blogs I follow which I just cannot resolve, and how ever many times I post a question about it on their help forum I just get ignored every time.

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  8. M: Most definitely. Kind of reminds of the Dilbert character called Mordac, Preventor of Information Services.

    It shouldn't be that hard to provide basic tech support but apparently it is. Shoot, even when I was having problems with Norton and ultimately got rid of them, their tech support and customer service was top notch in trying to resolve my issues.

    Joe: That kind of bites. I don't post much in the Blogger help forum as more often then not, I can find a solution to whatever issue I have without actually having to verbalize it.

    But I would think that something like that would get some kind of response, or at the very least, point you in the right direction with a referral link that actually answers your question.

    If you're willing, shoot me an e-mail, and maybe I can try to answer to your blog question.

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  9. Oh, I use Feedjit which seems to work okay.

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  10. G.A.: I have Feedjit as well. I find that to be pretty cool widget for finding out where my visitors actually come from.

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Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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