When customer support demand consistently stretches beyond staffing levels, it is tempting for support organizations turn to their support contract for protection. With most service contracts including wording specifying “boundaries for service,” some staff challenged service organizations are considering or are turning away how-to, RTFM and training related inquiries in a effort to curb demand.
Granted, some customers take advantage of the ease of just calling or emailing a question to the service organization, but is enforcing the contract a good idea? If customers are experiencing problems with your product, even simple how to questions, don’t you want to know so you can fix the underlying causes or ensure that the solution is available in the knowledge base or the documentation is updated or UI cleaned up? Not only should you want to fix your product, but the process of enforcing the contract will have a strong negative impact on customers and staff members and could impact customer retention and future sales into the base.
When is turning away customers a good idea? Does your organization enforce the boundaries of your support contract? Do you have a policy for “firing” customers?