Web Hosting Company Survey Reveals What Customers Want - The Top Three Qualities
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As I mentioned, the number one item on Supanet's list was "value for money." If someone has put together a web site as a hobby, it's probably not going to be something on which they can spend a lot of money. Web sites that are labors of love involve the owner investing time rather than money, so whatever money goes into the site had better stretch as far as possible.
This is doubly true if the web site is home to a business. While there may be some money coming in, and the company may be willing to invest some of that in its web presence in the hope of bringing in more money, no business can afford to waste money. The bursting of the dot-com bubble near the turn of the millennium proved that point. So if you want an individual or a company to trust their site to you, you have to show them that they're getting their money's worth.
The second quality on Supanet's list is "great customer service." To some extent, this follows naturally from the first item. Every customer considers himself to be the center of his own universe. That's not something to struggle against; it's simply a fact of human nature. Add to this the fact that most of your customers, if you're a web host, have their own customers to worry about, and you understand why customer service is such a high priority.
Great customer service means courteous, knowledgeable representatives who are available whenever your customers need them. It means giving customers what they want as quickly as possible; it can even mean anticipating their needs. Support that's available 24/7 in several forms (email, chat, telephone) is a good start. If your customers aren't particularly tech savvy, you might even have to do some spoon feeding.
The third item on Supanet's list is "multiple hosting features." Customers appreciate the ability to choose. If you try to lock them in to one package or don't offer features they need (such as script hosting), they will look elsewhere. Indeed, the number of features a web host can provide has become a point of competition between hosts. For example, 1stchoicehost says that it offers its customers standard or web-based email, shopping carts for e-commerce, support for multiple versions of Microsoft Front Page, the MySQL database, server side includes (SSI), email forwarding, Perl, Java, autoresponders and much more.
You might consider surveying your own customers to find out what hosting features they want. If you're really brave, ask the ones who are switching from you to a different web host why they're leaving. If they talk about hosting features that you don't offer, you might want to see what it would take to revamp your services.
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