The standard of customer service is not at the forefront of many people’s minds when they are considering which web host it is that they want to go with. This is hardly a surprise, for 2 reasons:
- While many other aspects of web hosting are easy to quantify, it is far harder to find out the quality of web host. This means that people simply choose to ignore it and focus on far easier to read metrics as comparison points between web hosting companies.
- People all too often think that problems won’t happen to them. It is natural to believe that we are too good to have problems, or that we can solve them as and when they come about.
This is a mistake. The standard of customer service being offered by the hosting company is essential.
No matter how much we with it otherwise technology can have problems with it. It could be problems we have created ourselves, where we have deleted the wrong thing, it could be a human error at the hosts end where they messed up a maintenance run – or it could be a simple technical error where a database has become corrupted by seemingly no ones fault.
This happens to all companies. It is how quickly, and how painlessly that they can solve it (even if it was your fault) that matters. You want a customer service that will talk you through the problems. A web hosting company that will admit fault if it is on there end and come up with solutions.
Even if the fault was on your end many customer services can now offer to reinstall your site from a back up (even if it is a week old), sometimes for a fee. This means that even if you manage to corrupt your online version AND your own back up (and you are backing up aren’t you), all is not necessarily lost.
There are many reasons that you will need to be dealing with customer service – from problems to looking to upgrade your hosting account, so you need to ensure that they are of as high a standard as possible.
To do that you need to ask around. Ask any friends that you know that use web hosting – but also access where webmasters hang out…especially webmaster and web hosting forums. Check out what people have to say about the standards of their customer service – and then make sure you include that aspect in choosing a web host.
Test out the customer support department of the web host you are considering before you buy. Open up a live chat window, submit a support ticket, or give them a phone call. See how long it takes for an operator to respond. Ask the support representative questions and see if they are knowledgeable and helpful in their response.