Domain Names and Hostage Negotiations

It amazes me the number of webmasters or hosting companies that register their client’s domain names in their own company name. There are only a few reasons to do that.

  • You suck at life so you need to hold them hostage
  • You have no idea what you are doing
  • You suck at life and plan on charging clients crazy $$ to leave your sorry company

Let’s be serious, if your company offers reliable hosting or professional web design and you make requested changes or answer support questions in a timely manner then most of your customers will never leave you. A small percentage will move around because a salesman convinces them they need “their” service or maybe you don’t offer a specialized application the client needs, but for the most part if you just stop sucking as a webmaster you can maintain your hosting and web design clients.

The only reason a webmaster or web host needs to hold a domain name hostage is because he knows he has nothing to offer of value. It’s really not difficult to please small business owners. Make sure their email and website are online and update their website when they ask you too. Answer emails and the phone in a timely manner. Is that really too complicated?

Understand your limitations and when you know you can’t meet your customer’s expectations then admit it, help them move somewhere that can. Think I’m crazy? Trust me, the next time they need something they might just call you again, you know why? Because you were helpful. For some reason that’s uncommon in the small business web world. Some of you act like losing $15 or $20 per month in hosting fees is going to bankrupt you.

Some of you are so offended by losing a client that you turn into an evil crook and you take hostages (domain names). I can’t keep track of the number of times I have been put in the position of hostage negotiator so some poor old lady can have *her* domain name transferred to *her*.

Time to face the facts. If your only chance of customer retention is stealing domain names (taking hostages) then you are going to fail.

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