In a recent article, Jessica took a look at why people end up switching their hosting providers. In the end, recent studies and surveys have ended up showing that the most frequent reason for people to switch who is their hosting service provider is simply bunk or no customer service. Having had some experience in the business management side of the hosting business, and getting the change to working with clients of all pay levels, I can assure you of one thing: It does not matter how much a client is paying you- it could be five bucks a month or fifty thousand….either way, they will expect customer service to be on par. So whether you are simply buying a domain from your hosting provider, or you are running a huge hosted solution, I want to get into what good customer service actually looks like!
One of the biggest mistakes I have seen both individuals and companies make is de-prioritizing customer service in clients that may not pay what they feel is “up to snuff” for exceptional customer service . What the rep or company naively forgets is that this company that is only six weeks old, and didn’t pay their hosting bill quite on time, and you shut them off without calling them….they could turn into anybody. For example, that exact situation happened to a little college project called Facebook. Catch my drift? So when you are considering what kind of treatment you get as a customer, realize that your provider should value you even more than you value them.
There are plenty of web hosting options that are automated. There really is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I am a pretty big advocate, as it many times takes the human error out of the system, and allows for standard automation practices to take place. This can be a great thing until something does go wrong, or you need a custom piece of work. If that is the case, is there someone that you can call right then? In some industries, it may be acceptable for normal business hours to be customer service hours, and if you cannot reach them in that window, wait til tomorrow. In the hosting world, you should expect better that than of your hosting provider. You should be able to get quick responses to urgent customer problems. After all, hosting is a 24/7 business. People don’t just get on the internet during business hours(although I would venture a guess that is when Youtube gets the most traffic, but I digress).
Attitude is perhaps the most important part of the whole equation. Are the people on the other end of the phone happy to help you? Are they willing to do whatever it ends up taking to get the job done? Or are they simply happy to say “I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do.” If this is the case every once in a while….maybe. But if you find that this is the case more often than not, it may be time to reconsider. Treat yourself well as a client, and expect a good hosting company to do the same.
Image Credit: Flickr – Featureset1