If you have a question or a technical issue with a product that Palo Alto Software produces, you can call us. It’s true. You can pick up the phone and dial 800-229-7526 and get right to a real live person. You can talk to any of our sales or technical support team. We don’t have a complicated phone tree. We don’t have you press a series of buttons to direct you to the right department, you call in and you’ll talk to a person who can direct you to the right department in a matter of moments.

Don’t want to talk to us directly? That’s ok. You can chat with us. You can go on our website and click on the Live Chat button and get a live person answering your questions. If the chat isn’t open, because we go home to our families at night, then an email with your question is sent and the next morning it has first priority to be answered.

These people work right here, in the Palo Alto Software office, within shouting reach of the developers, marketing department and upper management. There’s never a single moment that the team isn’t overheard by the entire company. Yeah, we’re that involved in the happiness of our customers.

So, still not interested in chat or phoning? That’s ok, you can email us. We use our own dogfood here, Email Center Pro. It’s the best way to make sure every email coming into our company is handled quickly and competently. Every email is answered within a 24 business hour turn around, but more than likely you’ll get an answer by the end of that work day. You might even get an answer from one of the team after hours or on the weekend. Not because it’s required, but because the team has a commitment to making sure people looking for help are answered.

Let me say that again. They have a commitment to making sure any customer reaching out to us is heard and responded to.

I’m telling you this because when I run into a company that literally makes me go around in circles to find technical support answers and tells me that sure I can call them for help if I give them $30 dollars to get the phone number first… I get frustrated.

And I have to tell you, a frustrated customer is a customer that won’t evangelize your product. They won’t return to get the newest version either. At least this customer won’t.

I know this isn’t a new subject here on the BIG blog, but I feel I have the responsibility to point it out when I see it. Good customer service isn’t hard to give. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. And it’s vital. It’s so important. It’s the difference between success and the “going out of business” sign.

Good customer service is customer retention. It’s repeat business.

It’s your reputation.

Make sure it’s a priority in your business.

‘Chelle Parmele
Social Media Marketing Manager
Palo Alto Software

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November 17th, 2008 at 9 a.m. PST
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