Four Building Blocks for a Web Hosting Business - Be More than Just a Web Host
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You offer various web hosting packages to your clients. You provide customer service via phone, email, and IM. You answer their questions about what software will work with your hardware. Youíve streamlined your billing process so that it is quick and painless for both you and your customers. Guess what? You could be doing a whole lot more.
There are very few website owners who know everything, and the ones that think they do are wrong. You could do your clients a great service by posting articles and tutorials that help them get set up. If youíre targeting your service at small e-tailers, some articles that talk about what to look for in an online shopping cart, how to set one up, and organizing an e-commerce website would certainly be in order. Prospective customers who see these articles will know that you understand the needs of their business, which will weigh strongly in your favor.
You can go beyond phone, email, and instant message in customer service if you start a set of forums. Support forums not only let your administrators address issues in a more informal setting; they also let your customers communicate with and help each other. You could see a community start to grow, which would be all to the good. You might even start getting suggestions about ways to serve your customers better. These might be in the form of complaints, or they might be phrased more like, ďIím trying to do X, and it would be really helpful if I had Y to support it. Is anybody else having the same issue?Ē Nobody likes to feel as if they are an island; support forums give you a potentially more proactive way to communicate with your customers, and both you and your customers stand to benefit from this. Besides, many website owners check out various support forums when they are considering what web hosting company to hire.
All of these services provide additional content for your clients and prospective clients. Think of them in part as opportunities to prove that you are a professional who is serious about his business and about helping your customers. Remember also that the extra content will bring extra traffic to your site, and quite probably result in more sales. That can certainly make it worth the extra work!
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