What You Should Expect From Your Web Host

Wed, 31st January 2018, 18:21

Not so long ago banking was done with the help of human tellers and grocery shopping happened solely in-store. But the internet, social media and mobile devices have dynamically changed this. Today’s consumers are “plugged in” 24/7. They demand instant access to information and transaction capabilities when they want them, are savvy when it comes to making purchase decisions, and are not afraid to make a change if a company no longer meets their expectations. This is exacerbated in that much of today's vibrant business community only exists online. There is no brick and mortar building for consumers to even see, let alone visit. Web hosting has become uniquely situated where uptime is an essential service and communication is key.

To survive and flourish in this new global society, businesses and organizations alike must now differentiate themselves across multiple channels, touch points, and interactions, not only to engage customers, but to set themselves apart from a multitude of others zealously competing to increase page rank and replace them in the search results.

So while the failure to deliver positive customer experiences or provide responsive customer service may still be the surest way to hemorrhage clients, the rise of services such as MailChimp or Constant contact suggests it helps to retain clients by cultivating loyal, long-term relationships. It is no longer enough to have a pretty website. To truly make an impact, a company must be a constant presence in its customers daily lives. (editor’s note: ‘daily lives’. It better be some kind of special because it’s a very fine line between ‘special’, and spam. ‘Spam’ from a can, good. Otherwise it’s getting deleted!)

So there were a couple of recent surveys looking at how customers wanted to be contacted, the idea being that a better understanding allows organizations to better adapt, and possibly set themselves apart from the crowd. I found these results interesting as there has been a growing trend among certain web hosts to limit the available types of customer support options offered. Then again, some web hosts have never offered any support options to begin with. Others, as reviews will attest, offered the sun moon and stars but just never bothered to answer the phone, or their email, or social media taunts. But possibly that’s getting ahead of myself.

Paraphrasing, The survey says:

  • When customers initiate the interaction, 77% rated speed to resolution as the best indicator of good service.
  • 55% opt for convenience when contacting a company.
  • 65% of customers prefer to talk on the phone, compared to 55% for email and 48% for online chat.
  • But when companies contact customers, 82% prefer email for notifications and 77% for questions and issues.
  • 49% wanted notifications by text, compared to 25% from a live person in a contact center.
  • 45% want questions to be asked by a live agent, compared to 37% by text.
  • In the last six months, 77% of consumers have opted out of a company’s communication. 45% of customers who opted out said communication was too frequent. 30% said the message was irrelevant. 25% of opt outs were due to other factors, including redundancy, too much information and lacking a human touch.
  • 55% of women have opted out of company communication because it was too frequent, versus 37% of men.
  • When making, changing or confirming appointments, 53% of customers choose to contact a company by email, 50% by phone and 34% by website.
  • To learn about a new product, 51% go to the website, 44% use a web tutorial and 38% call a representative.
  • 23% of millennial prefer a mobile app for notifications. 16% prefer online chat.
  • When asking questions, all age groups preferred phone calls to online chat, including 86% of baby boomers, 69% of Gen Xers and 59% of millennial.
  • 40% of millennial prefer to make purchases via mobile app, compared to 36% of Gen Xers and 16% of baby boomers.

Not surprisingly, more than three-quarters of consumers rank speed to resolution as the most likely indicator of service, men are still from Mars, and women from Venus. It also appears that Millennial also have different preferences than baby boomers! Who’d have guessed.

The surveys reinforces the importance of companies understanding and adapting to the marketplace, rather than vice versa, to ensure high customer loyalty and satisfaction.

So how does your web host measure up. Leave a review.