Web Hosting Look For A Customer First Attitude

Web Hosting Look For A Customer First Attitude

The single most important factor when choosing a​ web host is​ reliability. This is​ confirmed over and​ over again in​ surveys of​ webmasters and​ online entrepreneurs.

But "reliability" is​ not a​ simple thing. if​ you assume for​ the​ moment that most web hosting companies are technically competent, have been consistently upgrading their systems, and​ have products that are reasonably priced, then a​ major component of​ web hosting reliability comes down to​ good old fashioned "customer service".

In other words, what you really want to​ know is, "When there is​ a​ problem with my website, can I get speedy no-nonsense solutions?"

With web hosts the​ "no-nonsense" thing can be a​ problem.

**Talking with technical support can be difficult

If you have ever talked to​ a​ web host technical support person you get the​ impression they are handling three or​ four calls all at​ the​ same time. That's because they have thousands of​ clients, and​ often the​ problems come in​ waves. and​ that can lead to​ frustrating conversations with your tech person.

For example, I have recently been having a​ problem with one of​ my web hosts. the​ problem has to​ do with accessing some of​ my sites to​ make changes. Now I have been doing web building for​ years, and​ with many different hosts, and​ this is​ the​ very first time I have had this specific problem.

So although I am open to​ the​ possibility that the​ problem is​ somewhere at​ my end, I think it​ is​ unlikely. All my sites with this host seem to​ have this same issue, and​ none with any of​ the​ other web hosts that I use. in​ either case, what I am looking for​ is​ some intelligent suggestions.

But so far I have not been able to​ get an​ intelligent response -- even though it​ has been happening on and​ off for​ about a​ week now. I get the​ standard response: "Have you tried this, have you tried that..." all of​ which imply that the​ problem must be at​ my end, and​ none of​ which give the​ impression that they are actually thinking about what is​ going on.

Having been there myself quite a​ few times, I can sympathize with the​ technical support person's dilemma. But in​ my experience, most tech support people have seen these problems before, and​ they probably know the​ answer. it​ is​ just very difficult to​ get them to​ actually focus on your issue.

**Reliability starts with a​ Customer-First Attitude

This has a​ direct bearing on the​ "reliability" of​ this host. Service people often take the​ attitude that if​ they stall long enough the​ problem will go away. And, yes, sometimes it​ does go away.

But on the​ other hand, I think they usually stall because they are just too stretched out to​ be focused on your little insignificant problem. in​ other words, they are not sufficiently "customer-focused" on me to​ solve my specific issue.

This is​ when web host "reliability" takes a​ hit. and​ it​ is​ when customers start thinking hard about changing hosts. While the​ tech person is​ stalling you are wasting time trying to​ get your blasted website to​ work. and​ more often than not, getting it​ to​ work just takes a​ little bit of​ effort on the​ part of​ the​ tech team at​ the​ other end.

This merely confirms what marketing people have been saying for​ years about "customer service". Customer service is​ important in​ every business, and​ at​ every stage of​ the​ sales and​ delivery process. Your sales and​ accounting people must be customer focused. Your production people must be customer focused. and​ your tech support people must be customer focused too.

Unfortunately many web hosting tech support people just do not understand this. They often consider themselves superior to​ their clients. and​ they have been able to​ get away with shoddy, unfriendly service because it​ is​ just too inconvenient for​ clients to​ change hosts.

Thankfully this is​ changing. There is​ enough step-by-step information available to​ help make a​ host change, and​ many hosts will actually help you trasfer your domain to​ their system.

**Making Your Choice Based on Customer Service

Unfortunately there is​ no completely fool-proof way to​ know in​ advance where you are likely to​ get good, reliable, customer-friendly service.

You can try looking at​ web host review sites to​ get some comparisons between hosts. But unfortunately many of​ these sites are themselves not reliable. for​ one thing, they are usually trying to​ resell hosting services, so the​ "reviews" are often tainted. for​ another, if​ they contain comments and​ reviews by the​ public, these can also be manipulated. Some hosts will post bogus reviews praising their own services and​ criticising those of​ their competition.

You can also scan web hosting forums for​ comments and​ recommendations. These seem to​ be generally reliable, but are still open to​ the​ kind of​ manipulation mentioned above. and​ since things change so quickly in​ the​ web hosting business, comments made a​ year ago about a​ specific web hosting company will probably be out of​ date.

My own preference is​ to​ look closely at​ the​ website of​ the​ host itself. if​ it​ is​ overly technical and​ confusing I usually move on. That usually suggests, to​ me at​ least, that the​ focus of​ this host will be on technicalities, that it​ may be difficult to​ navigate their support system, and​ I may have difficulty getting plain and​ simple answers to​ my inquiries.

A simple layout with a​ minimum number of​ customer-oriented products and​ an​ easily-accessed support system suggests the​ company is​ customer-focused. I also recommend contacting the​ customer help desk in​ advance of​ ordering just to​ see what kind of​ reception I get.

I also look for​ testimonials from real web hosting customers. Make sure they are clearly identified with names, physical addresses, and​ website addresses. if​ you really want to​ be aggressive, you might contact some of​ these people directly.

Of course I agree that none of​ this is​ fool-proof. But given the​ highly competitive nature of​ the​ web hosting business, all other things being equal, a​ simple, straightforward customer-focused approach is​ what you should be looking for​ in​ a​ web host.

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