Why Customer Support Matters in the Server Hosting Industry
In a technical industry such as server hosting, exciting technological developments tend to take precedence.
This is perfectly understandable, as the right tools and systems can dramatically improve efficiency and return on investment, while also ensuring long-term security.
Unfortunately, this emphasis on technology can sometimes result in the complete neglect of another equally important side of server hosting: customer support.
Why Is Strong Customer Support So Important for Dedicated Servers?
No matter the quality of your service, questions are bound to arise from time to time.
When they do, your organization’s customer support system can determine whether clients continue to be pleased with your offerings – or whether they ultimately choose to jump ship.
The many benefits of building a strong customer support system include the following:
Achieving a Competitive Edge
Tech developments that once stood out are now widely regarded as matter-of-fact in a rapidly advancing industry.
Clients hold high expectations regarding technological capabilities, but these are no longer viewed as an extra benefit – they serve as the lowest barrier for prospective hosts to meet.
This is true across industries, with a notable Gartner report referring to customer experience as the “modern competitive battlefield,” often beating out price and product quality in terms of attracting and retaining business.
Today, it’s more difficult than ever to gain an edge on the competition with elite technology alone, as the elements deemed high-end just a few years ago are now par for the course.
Instead, that edge can be gained via customer service, which, despite recent revelations relating to the importance of this attribute, tends to vary dramatically from one dedicated server to the next.
Two servers can provide the exact same specs, but the provider that offers a prompt, personalized, and accurate response will always edge out the host that struggles to achieve even a mediocre level of customer support.
Maintaining Loyal Clients
Quality customer support is critical for retaining clients over time.
Those who are satisfied with customer service are more likely to continue relying on an existing host, rather than going through the hassle of switching to another dedicated server.
While new clients are highly valued, dedicated hosting businesses benefit most from building and maintaining strong relationships with loyal customers.
This emphasis on ongoing relationships delivers the greatest return on investment, as it reduces the constant marketing demands imparted by continually searching for new customers who promptly seek greener pastures.
Greater Opportunities for Customized Service
Poor customer support could prove devastating for dedicated servers that pitch clients on customized options.
This approach, by nature, mandates guidance above and beyond what a preconfigured setup might require.
Select clients may hold specific needs or preferences regarding bandwidth and memory, which can best be met via tailored customer service.
Others may realize that they require a customized approach without being sure what, exactly, constitutes an ideal dedicated server setup in their unique situation.
In general, however, strong customer support ensures that the needs of the most demanding clients are met, rather than simply catering to those who stick with preconfigured options.
What Constitutes Quality Customer Support?
Quality customer support means different things to different clients.
However, most people prefer to work with server hosting companies that respond quickly while fully addressing a variety of client concerns.
These and other key elements of customer support are highlighted below:
In today’s fast-paced world, few people are willing to wait long for a response.
A growing body of research highlights the damage imparted by placing customers on hold.
A 2017 Arise study, for example, reveals that most people refuse to wait over two minutes when dealing with customer service over the phone, with a noteworthy 13 per cent of respondents not willing to put up with any wait at all.
Email and live chat are popular alternatives to dealing with phone wait times and are available with most providers.
The best hosting providers offer access to live agents quickly, saving customers the frustration of waiting.
Responses to online queries should arrive promptly – particularly for customers who take advantage of website chat tools.
Repeated long waits may convince frustrated customers to shift to more responsive hosting services.
Availability is also worth considering.
Responses should be swift regardless of the time of day.
Concerns can pop up at any hour – and when they do, customers should feel confident that they will receive a quick response.
Hence, the need for 24/7 customer support, through which messages generate immediate feedback at any time of the day.
Multiple Options for Getting in Touch
Not every customer wishes to speak with support representatives over the phone.
While phone-based services form the basis of many customer support strategies, they should be complemented by alternatives that allow clients to obtain digital feedback.
Support portals, for example, provide quick answers to common questions while granting customers a greater degree of control over the entire process.
Users can begin by performing a quick keyword search in an available knowledge base before proceeding to a public forum or submitting a ticket.
In addition to providing online customer portals, hosting services should also offer easy access to support via social media.
Under this approach, customers can send quick questions via Facebook or Twitter and receive helpful responses within a matter of minutes.
Those who prefer to interact via email should be able to send messages to a dedicated address.
The greater the array of options made available for getting in touch, the more satisfied people will be with customer support services.
Those who enjoy access to a variety of forms of contact are more likely to be happy with a given company’s customer service.
When clients voice their frustrations, they want to feel as if representatives actually care.
This can be accomplished by integrating an element of personalization into each interaction.
Customized service could prove as simple as learning the caller’s name and seeking a description of the problem at hand.
Additionally, by asking a few targeted questions, representatives can determine each client’s level of technical understanding.
Some may require far more detailed instructions or simplified language than others.
Ultimately, the proposed solutions should take customers’ unique needs and concerns into account.
Some servers merely respond to client concerns by providing links to a variety of outside resources.
While the information included in such sources may prove enlightening, this approach does little to address the client’s need to feel heard and valued.
There’s nothing wrong with maintaining a directory for client-directed searches, but attentive support should also be available.
When clients seek detailed information via customer support, they don’t want to be sugarcoated.
This is not the time to talk up the server’s benefits, but rather, to address concerns in a direct, yet helpful manner.
Accuracy is critical; clients may not always hear exactly what they hope during customer support interactions, but they should emerge feeling confident that your representatives have been entirely honest and transparent.
This approach will ultimately garner the respect needed to foster long-term customers.
Eagerness to Help
Ideal customer support staff members are passionate about dedicated hosting and eager to help.
Most clients can easily spot a lack of enthusiasm.
This will degrade the experience, no matter how quickly they are able to connect or how accurate the responses may be.
Customers should never doubt that support staff members genuinely care about their concerns and want to see them resolved as quickly as possible.
Strong customer support plays a huge role in modern server selection.
While customers continue to look closely at technological offerings, their long-term loyalty depends largely on the quality of the support they receive online and over the phone.
Those pleased by customer support protocol are more likely to establish long and productive relationships with their dedicated server providers.