Web Hosting 101 - Customer Service
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Believe it or not, a recent survey found that Americans no longer think of good customer service as a necessary requirement for business. This is mostly due to the fact that today, nearly everything is automated; consumers can do everything online and very rarely do they ever deal with a real person. That being said, customer service -- surprisingly -- will prove to be one of the most crucial factors in successfully choosing your web hosting service.
Hosting experts will tell you that good support is the most important and defining issue for a small business owner. Weíre not talking about calling a number and getting a chipper, over-polite person at the other end of the line; weíre talking about the ability to have any online issues that may arise get taken care of seamlessly and with little interference to your business.
David Repelato, the IT director for Top Ten Reviews, is more than familiar with the many pitfalls a small business can encounter when choosing a web hosting service that has bad customer service. "Nothing is more frustrating than paying on a monthly basis and not being able to get through to customer service for hours and then having to pick up the pieces after the damage is done," Repelato said.
Itís possible to create an online business thatís thriving, but one of the downfalls is that weekends donít keep people off the Internet as they keep them out of the office. This is why itís so important to make sure that the web hosting you choose provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After all, technical problems can occur at any time, day or night.
A good way to find out just how connected your hostís customer service is willing to stay is by testing them. Call or e-mail them with any questions or concerns you may have. If they donít respond within 24 hours, you should get rid of them.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not technical issues that usually require immediate responses; it's the legal ones. Web sites that allow users to post content are particularly at risk. Under current law, if copyright owners find their work illegally posted on a Web site, they can send a message to those who run the site demanding the content's removal. Those messages usually go to the Web host. Itís a little known fact that small business web sites get taken down without any notice. Aside from causing their owners major headaches, it also causes major financial setbacks.
Hosts tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when they receive messages for content removal, meaning they take down the set without any hesitation. Hosts, by law, are not required to look into the matter, but in their defense, they must take down the alleged infringing content. This is exactly why itís so important for a web hosting company to be responsive to its clients.
If a site gets shut down, the business owner can file a counter notification within ten days and then the burden is on the complainant to file a copyright infringement suit in court. This arduous process can last weeks -- even months -- and during this time, only one thing is for certain: the website owner loses a lot of business. Connectivity is key, so choose a host that stays in touch.
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