Making the Customer Feel Good

Support isn't just about fixing the problem. It's about making the customer feel warm towards the product and its developer. If at the end of a support call all your staff has communicated is a technical solution, you have missed an opportunity.

However, keep in mind that no matter how strong the support you provide for your product, its quality and competitiveness is critical. Before 1990, everyone using a word processor was familiar with WordPerfect, which was synonymous with DOS word processing. WordPerfect held 56 percent of the entire world market. Apart from a very comprehensive product, WordPerfect support was legendary with its toll-free numbers and really helpful staff. WordPerfect had a large team of knowledgeable and enlightened people who could talk you through any issue you couldn't iron out yourself. When Microsoft introduced Word for Windows in 1991, WordPerfect thought their phenomenal support record would carry them over until their Windows version came on line (16 months later). It certainly delayed the decline, but the reality was that a weaker product was released too late and by then the market had swung over. The moral is: Consider your support as part and parcel of your overall strategy.

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