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  Post #1 (permalink)   04-21-2014, 11:30 AM
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Technical Support is very important when it comes to choosing a service provider. Now a days it seems everyone is offering 24-7 support. Because it is so important I would be interested in knowing what do you expect out of 24/7 support other than the obvious of being able to get a hold of anyone at anytime.

Does you need it to be by phone? live chat or ticket system 24/7 or is one of the latter ok?

What should the technical support be able to do and not do with your service?

What do you consider irrational requests to a support team?
 
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   04-21-2014, 12:55 PM
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We host only our business clients and we do it on three resellers.

We also have end user support with our resellers but we also maintain most of our clients sites for them.

Our clients can send us a support ticket or call us on the phone. If we have any problems and it's server side then we pass it on to the host support of our reseller packages.

Fast support is important especially with business sites.

One of our host has phone support and the other one only has ticket support and both are fast on support ticket responses.
 
 


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  Post #3 (permalink)   04-21-2014, 03:12 PM
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That's a common discussion in the hosting industry and one that does not have a right and wrong answer. It all depends on how far you are willing to go for your clients. Not only that but you have to have a very realistic idea of the level of knowledge of your support representatives as well as the manpower to handle all the requests coming your way.

As you have observed offering 24/7 support is something very common in the business, so this is no longer a deciding point, nor is providing different communication methods - phone, chat, email... It comes down to how helpful your staff can be. And this goes way back to your hiring and training process. In today's evolving services you want to get ahead so preparing to deal with any kinds of minor support problems over chat/phone. Should the issue require more time, the clients needs to be guided how to easily place a ticket (or the rep can do it for them too) to the L2 Support. There will always be the clients that want/think anything can be dealt with while on chat, but most are ready to accept that some issues just need their time. Teaching your staff some business tone and conversational ethics is something that surprisingly many companies still seem to miss and the one-line templated responses from their "support" can make anyone weep. This is why you MUST surround yourself with the right people and make sure you properly train them before you push them on the battleground
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  Post #4 (permalink)   04-21-2014, 10:51 PM
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I'll argue this to the end and I can truthfully say this is one of the main things that has made my business successful as it is.

Customer Service...Treat your customers with respect, don't talk down to them, listen to them, help them with their problem and if they don't understand try and explain it to them until they do understand.

Work with them until all issues have been resolved and everyone is happy, be it a $1.00 deal or a $1000.00 deal. Making a $1.00 client angry with you can cost you a $1000.00 in the long term.

Years ago I had my first site hosted with one of the larger more popular host and started having some problems so I called their support on the phone.

They always had excellent support, and I don't bash on a forum so I'll not name them.

I told the support person what my problem seemed to be and my thoughts on fixing it and it was on the sever side.

All of sudden he jumped in my face and started telling me..not going to happen, not going to happen for about 2 minutes.

I told him, ok no problem I"ll take care of it and I did.

The next day I moved my site off that $145.00 a year shared hosting account to another host for half the money with cPanel and not their junkie junk yard built admin panel.

So, I get a call from a customer rep there and she wanted to know why I was closing my account, and I told her. She offer me all kinds of stuffs to keep me as a customer but I told her, no thanks not going to happen.

The keywords in this situation were...lack of Customer Service on their end.

Last edited by kabe : 04-21-2014 at 10:56 PM.
 
 


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  Post #5 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 09:11 AM
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I think you will need to first take a look at the technical capabilities of your support team. At a minimum they should be completely knowledgeable about the control panel you are using. From there, define an escalation procedure for issues related to either the server or programming. For issues related to the server specifically (any option not available from the admin interface of the control panel in use) there should be someone who can resolve anything under medium difficulty in under 12 hours. Higher difficulty issues should be under 24 hours or credit client. For programming escalation, if you clearly spell out in your policies that you do not provide support for programming, then you really only need someone to determine that it is a programming issue on the customer end and not your servers. You could also choose best effort/at costs and plan accordingly.

Also, don't be afraid of 24/7 support. It is not difficult, you really just need to plan accordingly. Ideally you want to spell at clear initial response times + follow up expectations. Initial responses can be automated, if you would like. As long as you are close to whatever window you establish, clients will be ok. Companies that offer 24/7 support with 15 minute response times, eventually get burned when they cant meet them.
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 09:16 AM
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Just by having a knowledge base you can claim 24/7 support.
 
 
 


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  Post #7 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 09:32 AM
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It really comes down to your needs - some people prefer chatting about their issues on the phone others prefer ticketing systems/livechat. As long as you can detail your issues - no matter via what method - as long as issues are resolved any type of support is adequate. I understand it can be frustrating communicating via a ticket however so usually the phone is best. Technical support should have a very high and broad skill set with a lot of experience so they can turn their hand to any issues.
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 09:41 AM
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you can claim 24/7 support as Collabora states by having an extensive Knowledge base on your site 24/7. as this comes in 2 forms

24/7 support and 24/7 Live support, with the latter being having a live person to offer support 24/7, but if you are a one man operation 24/7 live support is impossible unless you outsource as we all need sleep sometimes.
As a one man band myself i dont advertise 24/7 live support, but have an extensive KB and FA on our sites, clients are informed and its on tickets that i provide live support from 8am til midnight, but if a client comes for support at 23:59 and it takes 3 hrs to sort it then i will stay up them 3 hrs. The longest i have stayed awake to help a client is 3 days without sleep.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 10:52 AM
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Many brands are just one man shows. Myself is included. As I decided not to pay to outsource support. I cannot claim 27/7 support be it live or otherwise. One will not find that term anywhere on my site.

This is a choice I decided very early on in my web hosting adventure. I did not want to mislead any potential customer or current customer.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSolutions View Post
Many brands are just one man shows. Myself is included. As I decided not to pay to outsource support. I cannot claim 27/7 support be it live or otherwise. One will not find that term anywhere on my site.
Of course you can't, it is really impossible to offer 27/7 support on Earth. (maybe you are coming from another planet with a day of 27h?

But really for me 24/7 it means support 24 Hours for 7 Days that means almost 4 hours per day, no ? In that case you can do it 27/7 no?



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  Post #11 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowebca View Post
Of course you can't, it is really impossible to offer 27/7 support on Earth. (maybe you are coming from another planet with a day of 27h?

But really for me 24/7 it means support 24 Hours for 7 Days that means almost 4 hours per day, no ? In that case you can do it 27/7 no?


Regards
oh my gosh good catch HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  Post #12 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 02:06 PM
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''Customer Contact Means Everything''
Our support teams handle more than 100,000 cases yearly. Instead of seeing this as a cost center, we view each support incident as an opportunity to connect with our customers. What we learn helps us innovate and improve our services. Our support teams communicate directly with development teams to share insights and feedback:agree. As a result the development teams get opportunities to interact with customers both indirectly and directly. The genesis of many great ideas begins from conversations with customers trying to solve problems in the real world.

Making a Difference


In the end, providing great support isnít just good business practice. It is a genuine reflection of our company values and of the people standing behind them. We really get excited when we make the lives of our customers better. This ranges from something as simple as saving them time in their busy day to making them a hero to their own coworkers and colleagues. For everyone, it really is about making a difference each day at work. Lastly, while we are super appreciative when customers give us compliments, we know we can always improve.
 
 
 


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  Post #13 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseWebline#1 View Post
''Customer Contact Means Everything''
Our support teams handle more than 100,000 cases yearly. Instead of seeing this as a cost center, we view each support incident as an opportunity to connect with our customers. What we learn helps us innovate and improve our services. Our support teams communicate directly with development teams to share insights and

That's impressive, anyway, I study many cases and I observed a company growing from small to big and I saw the difference that matter for me. Before I waited 10 minutes to speak with a representative, and now almost 75 minutes (I spent all this time over the automatic phone bull****). That's a real progress...

A successful business is not all the time the most close to customer needs, it depends...

Again, I am not talking about your company just what I observed during years, and honestly I am really impress of the volume of the support, I know is not an easy task !!!


Regards
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  Post #14 (permalink)   04-22-2014, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowebca View Post
That's impressive, anyway, I study many cases and I observed a company growing from small to big and I saw the difference that matter for me. Before I waited 10 minutes to speak with a representative, and now almost 75 minutes (I spent all this time over the automatic phone bull****). That's a real progress...

A successful business is not all the time the most close to customer needs, it depends...

Again, I am not talking about your company just what I observed during years, and honestly I am really impress of the volume of the support, I know is not an easy task !!!


Regards
This again comes down to how much resources you put into it and if you are effectively using them. Growing a company is a great process, but it requires growth in your staff too - both in knowledge and number. If you spare on this cost, you are destined to deteriorate in the long run (just see most really large companies' current state).

Point is that progress is good when handled well. In your example I don't think Company X deteriorated much, they don't sound reliable to begin with. Waiting for 10 minutes to speak with a rep can be justified only in seldom peaks, it should not be counted as a standard, let alone 75 minutes which is just ludicrous
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  Post #15 (permalink)   04-23-2014, 02:11 AM
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This only proves once again that phone conversations are useless in domain industry Live chat & email correspondence allows sending clear guides on setup, with screenshots and direct links. The chat and ticket system allows stating the domain name in question or service issue at once and describing them with as much details as needed. Compare it with spelling the name letter by letter to a half-deaf and half-asleep customer supporter.

Not to mention that 10 minute waiting time. Chat is answered instantly and you are not pinned to the phone. You can ask your question and do anything else while supporter works, instead of listening to beep-beep-beeps or "automatic phone bull****"

If a domain/hosting company provides no chat/ticket support and has no knowledgebase - I stop considering using their service. I think, most of the clients think the same.

Phone conversation is great thing to do with your family, not with your provider. For example, Godaddy relies on phone support more and Namecheap on chat/ticket support more. Common customers often state NCHP is much more convenient in terms of support.

I think many of you will disagree, so - we can discuss it if you wish.
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