Making the Most of a Bad End
So I've been thinking a lot about cutting losses lately. Maybe it's because of what happened a couple of weeks ago. It was the 6th of the month and that's Newsletter day for us, one of the biggest days of the month. We have a HUGE mailing list now (close to 16,000), and our readers are loyal and enthusiastic, so that means when that newsletter is released (at just after midnight), there is a massive and almost immediate response, snowballing across Europe and peaking about 10 am, as our West Coast starts to wake up.
But that's when the complaints started rolling in. The newsletter was opening just fine, but apparently my website was down. Correction- Technically speaking, my website wasn't down... but, when it takes over 15 minutes to load the home page, it might as well be. Now what?
So I call my service (which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) and their diagnosis was that I had too many pictures on my site. Which is weird, because yesterday I had just as many pictures on my site, and it my site was functioning just fine. And furthermore, in order to 'fix this', they recommended that I move all of my pictures into a separate file from the rest of the website, which would mean an almost total re-write. Now I know I'm not the brightest bulb in cyberspace, but I am a strong believer in cause and effect, and the only thing that has changed since yesterday (when my website was running fine) was that the newsletter was released. The 'experts' would hear none of it. To say this whole situation was upsetting to me, was an understatement.( I went ballistic!)
This attitude (on their part) is not new. Customer service has become more & more arrogant and unhelpful lately. But even when they are at their worst, it's so hard to think about actually cutting my losses and starting over elsewhere. The experts would probably say that what's stopping me from making the change is either the time, money and energy that I've invested with this company. And that's all true. I do have quite a bit time, money and effort invested with this company... but it's more than that.
It seems to me, that our culture (at least here in the States) has taken great pains to teach us that we should....
NEVER GIVE UP.
Our politicians preach it...
Our athletes shout it...
Hollywood shows it to us...
and our teachers espouse it...
And you know what? For the most part, it's true. We really shouldn't give up..... too early.
But you know what else? There really is a right time to give up... to cut your losses... or to just plain quit.
There's an old saying that goes like this: "The first thing you should do when you find yourself in a deep hole, is to stop digging."
I like this saying, and that, is exactly what I did. I began researching and found another webhosting service who has a reputation for some kick-butt GREAT customer service, and now, (just in time for my February newsletter) I've got everything moved to a new webhost.
So has it all been smooth sailing? No, is hasn't. The move resulted in a LOT of work, and there was some significant downtime required during the process. (So sorry if you had trouble getting on my site during the middle of January) I knew that would be the case. And we've still got some work to do, and there's definitely been a learning curve involved. But here's the deal... I've had LOTS of questions for technical service, and not once have I...
- had to wait on hold at any time for more than 3 minutes
- or been talked down,
- or been made to feel silly about a question I had
So bottom line- Even though this was an extremely stressful process, I feel confident that the change we made is going to be for the best. I've learned a lot in the process and my website will run better and faster for it, especially (I hope) on newsletter day. As it turns out, it really is OK sometimes to just quit, cut your losses or change direction. The key is to have the wisdom to recognize when you're in a hole and to just stop digging!
So, what about YOU? Why do YOU avoid cutting YOUR losses and making a much-called change? Is it more about not just wanting to give up, or for you, is it primarily about trying to make good on your investment of time or money, or does it really boil down to not wanting to feel you've wasted your effort?
And if you think of it...
cross your fingers with me next Sunday morning (Feb. 6)
when our next Newsletter releases. :)
(PS- If you really want to know who my old web hosting service was, or who my new one is, I'll be glad to share that info privately, by email only.)