More than likely, your dedicated server is not only for personal use. Most dedicated servers are used for some type of business or non-profit websites. Whether it is a dedicated gaming server or a growing web hosting business, your clients or customers will invariably need technical support. Here are eight ways you can offer that support without having to take calls all day.
1. Support Tickets – There are many free and paid software solutions that allow you to easily setup a support ticket system for your clients. This has two benefits: 1) You can reply to customers at your convenience, and 2) the support ticket system will keep track of previous incidents. Some will even build a knowledge base from them.
2. Email – Email works well for quick inquiries. If you are going to use email, however, do not use your personal email address or even your personal inbox (i.e. forwarding). Support emails need to be separate so that nothing skips by you and you have sound records of all correspondence.
3. Knowledge Base / FAQ – If you get enough questions, you will start to receive repeats. By providing frequently asked questions on your website, you can often save customers and yourself valuable time.
4. Wiki – A Wiki is a great way to get customer participation while also maintaining a revision history of all documentation. They are easy to setup and use.
5. Forums – Discussion forums, like wikis, are designed with participation in mind, but you can also use them for important announcements, sticky posts containing crucial information, and bug reports.
6. Live Chat – You cannot replace the benefits of live telephone dialog, but you can come very close with live chat. In some ways, live chat will be better because customers feel less trapped if you have to put them on hold, and you can save conversations.
7. Social Media – This will not guarantee you to reach all of your clients, as some will never use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, but for those who do, this may be their preference.
8. Telephone – Some questions just require a little more direct discussion or emergency support. The phone is best for these. Furthermore, some customers will insist upon it. You can get an inexpensive 800 number and use it only for emergencies.