Tech start-ups focusing on early adapters often neglect to develop their customer service because of its high cost. But companies that do, like name.com shine in my book.
As a PR person whose clients are Baby Boomers—you know the largest demographic in the nation—nearly 80 million strong—with the largest amount of disposable income around, we want and need customer service–especially from tech companies.
We’ll be great customers; we’ll tell all of our friends, we’ll act like your volunteer foot-soldiers promoting your company at every juncture— if you take care of us.
About a week ago, I registered a domain name and signed up for site hosting at name.com. My 20-something son recommended it as newer site that was getting a lot of positive feedback in the tech community.
After purchasing my domain, my son recommended I go to wordpress.com to create a blog. The home page on wordpress.com makes it seem like creating a blog is simple. There’s a big button that says “press here” and in a few minutes you reach another page that promises you that you can “own your own wordpress.com site in seconds.”
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
Great, I tell my Boomer advertising friends. “No problem, you can do offer this service to your Boomer customers, they can do the blogs themselves, with the logo you create for them.”
Wrong—it’s easy enough to get the wordpress.com blog set up—but a totally different story to get the actual blog established. There are many beautiful themes to select from, but once you have your theme—the novice becomes stuck. “Now what?” we say.
How do we navigate this? Hmm…. A trip to the support site is not much help. The instructions are complex, using unfamiliar words to us and frustration boils.
I plead with my tech savvy son to set up the blog, which he does, but then says, he must focus on his work, so I’m on my own—but adds that wordpress.com does a great job of support services.
Maybe for tech savvy folks—but not for Boomers. I try to make some changes, but it it too complex, so I am stuck with what I have.
However, I then notice that the URL address has the words “wordpress” in it, and not just my domain name.
I to to the wordpress.com support services page because I want to change the address. Clear instructions about the possibility to change the address –called Instructions for Mapping an Existing Domain, pop right up. But again—downward slide from there.
I contact wordpress.com support through an email as there is no phone number listed, and explain that I can’t understand the support instructions; I am not a tech person and I offer to pay someone to help me make the changes.
I received a very polite response from “Automatic Dave” who sent me the same links to instructions I had already read on how to complete the mapping process.
Whoa…Halt…Problem. I got to the instructions easy enough, but couldn’t understand them.
Instructions for Mapping an Existing Domain
- Update your domain’s name servers to the following. Make sure to remove any existing name servers that are already there.
You can usually change your domain’s name servers at your registrar’s website, but the process is different for each domain registrar. Instructions for popular registrars are available here— if your registrar isn’t listed, visit their website or contact their support team for assistance.For certain domains, such as .com.br and other non-US domains (or ccTLDs), your registrar may require us to add a “Zone Record” on the WordPress.com servers before the name servers can be updated. Please contact support and state the domain you want to map, and we’ll take care of this for you.
Now for people who are familiar with tech, I suppose it’s no problem. But for Boomers like me… the instructions read like they are in a foreign language.
Again I contact wordpress.com by email, as the company does NOT list a phone number anywhere on its site, or right I said that before. Again, I offer to pay real money to speak to a real person and have that person assist me. This time, “Automatic Dave” never responded.
Exasperated, I telephone the support line at name.com and a REAL LIVE person answers. At this point I’m about to jump through the phone in complete joy hearing the sound of a human being. He took care of the process for me in a matter of minutes, and kept asking me if there were any other problems he could help me solve.
He also advised me on what to say in an email so I could get a refund for the hosting I had just signed up for a few days before and wasn’t going to use since I was moving to wordpress.com. Now that’s customer service.
Now maybe wordpress.com isn’t interested in non-tech savvy Boomers. Maybe we don’t fit their business model and if that’s the case, then their lack of customer service is fine. But if they want Boomer customers, especially those of us who don’t have a child to assist us in setting up our blog—then their customer service needs to change.
Boomers are the largest demographic is the nation, and nearly 80 percent of us spend more time and money on line than any other generation. We’re prime targets for all of those wordpress.com upgrades if someone would teach us how they operate.
If I had my druthers—I’d opt out of wordpress.com but I’m way down the road with them now since my son built my blog on their platform.
But if anyone asks me for a referral—I’m referring them to name.com. Name.com is a great company, with real helpful people. Hopefully as it grows, it won’t lose site its terrific customer service.