My name is Meesha Gerhart and I am the owner of RedTree Web Design. Before I started RedTree I was a part owner of PiCon Web Design. During my time at PiCon a huge transformation was happening and it wasn’t just with the web. I was developing into a customer service machine by upsetting and offending many clients. I never thought that I would need customer service in my line of work; I just thought I could stay in my little bubble and never have to answer to anyone. At my 8+ years at PiCon I quickly learned that was not the case. While I was growing as a designer and developer, I was also learning about customer relations.
Below are the big customer service mistakes I never got right:
“I can’t see that”
We all know this statement. I get so mad when people say they don’t see an error I am getting. Am I making it up? Am I just bored and don’t feel like bothering you right now? NO. Then I started to realize that I was saying that when clients would call me. I stopped using that phrase and instead I would say, “Let me look into this a little more.”
I’m the expert but they are the client
When I was 21 years old I would always think, “If the client isn’t reviewing it and doesn’t give us feedback, we shouldn’t have to fine-tune it.” Several years later I know now that this is a horrible mentality and even worse customer service. Businesses are hiring us for our expertise and to execute a service which they shouldn’t have to micro-manage. Now I try to polish areas of my clients’ marketing before they even look at it. Nothing excites me more than a client looking at a web page for the first time and saying, “This looks great, I love it!”
I can only advise but ultimately it’s their business
I’m never going to understand what it is like to run a law firm for general contractors. I know the web and I know how to market. When a client used to say to me, “Meesha, I want to have a huge whale jump across the screen when you first visit the website,” I used to come back with, “No.” Now I ask follow-up questions to try and clarify why they requested that. If it is more of a personal preference, I usually try to remind them of their target audience or marketing objectives. Although at the end of the day if the client says, “I know this whale is going to bring me big business (pun intended),” I will always default to them because they understand their target audience better then I ever will.
Even though I am no longer a partner of PiCon the things I learned there will be with me for the rest of my life.