I’m all about customer service. I have kind of taken on the Zappos philosophy when it comes to that area. I constantly go above an beyond to help my customers out. Rather than just give them design advice, I also help them with their business and marketing for free. I’m around to answer any of their questions five days a week and sometimes on the weekends. I make small changes to the site for free and a lot of other things that I could easily charge for.
Normally this isn’t a problem. But, it got me thinking, where does this sort of customer service stop?
Obviously major design and development things are going to cost the client extra. I guess more of what I am questioning is the back and forth changes? The little things that add up fast and make me feel like I’m being taken advantage of.
If, like me, you do all these sort of little things for free, when do you say that you will have to start charging for them? Better yet, how do you explain to your client that you’ll have to start charging them for it after doing it for free for so long?
Obviously you can setup guidelines in the contract, but I don’t like being restricted like that. I guess it’s just a slippery slope either way you look at it if you want to do business this way. That said, I have found that by doing business this way I have been getting a lot more repeat work from clients. Even before I finish one project for them They ask me to start on another one for them.
So, I guess there is something to be said about this business model.