Web hosting support services: They’re the often-overlooked little brother in the family of factors you look at when choosing a hosting provider. Every host has a support team; it comes with the territory, after all. So why would you waste time checking out the details of the support plan when your hours are better spent searching for blazingly fast speed, the “five 9s” in uptime, and all the space you need? Who cares about support if you’ve got the best service, right?
Do you know the phrase, “Not all hosting providers are created equal”? That applies to web hosting support services as well as all the other shiny buzzwords your potential provider may try to lure you in with.
It’s Not If You’ll Need Support, It’s When
Funny story: I bought a Subaru Impreza not too long ago, and my dad was not impressed. (He’s a GM man.) I drove it over to his house, and he started mocking me when he saw the hooks on the front bumper. “They already know you’re gonna need to be towed,” he said. “They’ve built in a system for other cars to come to your rescue.”
The fact that those hooks are actually there so that I can secure extra bulky loads to my roof rack are neither here nor there. My dad’s assessment of my car was not unlike many people who think big promises from web hosting support services imply that big problems are in store.
The first flaw in this logic is the assumption that if you find a good hosting provider, you’ll never need to make use of their support team. Let’s throw that idea out the window right now. Making a call to your hosting provider’s support line is a when proposition, not an if.
Technology is changing more rapidly than ever before, and cyber threats are increasing by the day. Your odds of needing tech support are still above zero even if you’ve got the greatest hosting plan out there.
Finding The Best Web Hosting Support Services
Odds are you’re going to speak to your host’s support team sooner or later. Here are a few things to look for to ensure the hosting provider you choose has web hosting support services that will never let you down.
1. 24/7/365 Availability
You only work around 8 hours out of every 24. But your website (or your clients’ websites) need to be working around the clock. So what happens if you experience technical issues outside normal business hours? Your phone will be ringing off the hook all night long with frustrated clients wanting to know what you’re doing to address the issues they’re experiencing.
You want web hosting support services that are available all day, every day—no exceptions. Whether there’s a network outage, a client broke their own site doing some late-night tinkering with an application, or you’re the victim of a denial of service attack, you want a team that will start working to solve the problem as soon as it occurs. Think how much more smoothly those calls from clients will go when you can tell them a tech expert is already on the case. You look on the ball, the problem is solved sooner, and everyone is happy.
2. Multi-Channel Availability
When you’re facing a problem with your site or clients’ sites, you want answers your way. Web hosting support services are available over a variety of channels today, and it’s important that your support team can be reached using a method you’re comfortable with.
Want to call in and speak to a live expert ready with all the answers? Good choice—it’s a simple way to clearly convey your problem and be sure you understand the answer. Prefer to email and move on to other things until the response comes back? That works too, and may be more suitable for busy multi-taskers. Whether you choose to call, email, live chat, submit a support ticket, or send a carrier pigeon (wow, you’re old school!) your provider should be ready to accept your query and respond in a way that is convenient and efficient for you.
3. Guaranteed Response Times
A 24-hour support line is all well and good, but how long does it take you to reach someone on that line? If a major network issue affects a significant portion of your hosting provider’s customers, don’t you think they’ll all be using that ‘round the clock support at the same time? You could sit on hold for hours on your mobile phone while your clients keep your office line ringing, wondering what the holdup is. That’s hardly better than when you didn’t have 24-hour support. At least then you didn’t have to listen to this terrible hold music.
When examining your potential provider’s web hosting support services, ask about guaranteed response times. When problems strike, how long will you wait before you can speak to someone who can help? Five minutes? Twenty minutes? Some undetermined period of time marked only by the constant loop of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” and the occasional recorded voice telling you they value your business and you should continue to hold? Guaranteed response times can spare you that particular pain, and many others.
4. US-Based, Local Teams Who Are Actively Problem-Solving
How many times have you called a toll-free number, only to be directed into a seemingly-interminable loop of voice prompts that keep redirecting your call “in order to serve you better”? Or worse, answered by a call center agent whose grasp of your language is tenuous at best and who attempts to solve your problem by navigating you through some choose-your-own-adventure-style script that may or may not actually provide a solution at the end?
If you have more than one issue that needs to be addressed, you want an expert on the line to solve your problems in one go, not a team that requires individual support tickets for each issue. Imagine going to a mechanic because your car has a flat tire, needs an oil change, and a new muffler—and being told they’ll only address one problem then and there. Would you go back?
A hosting provider who truly values you as a customer and wants to provide you with the best service possible will employ local teams to deliver web hosting support services. Not only will local teams be able to answer your call promptly and intelligibly, they’ll be expertly trained to deal with any and all issues you may be experiencing. They won’t rely on a script for the next step in the conversation; they’ll actively listen to your description of the problem and offer expedient and effective solutions.
Comprehensive Web Hosting Support Services Are Within Reach
There’s a chance I’ve misread you. Maybe you don’t mind midnight phone calls from clients, or you really love Phil Collins. And there could be a certain nostalgia in the scripted call center experience for those who enjoyed Choose Your Own Adventure books as kids. But if you don’t fall into one of these categories, look for a provider that offers the comprehensive web hosting support services you need. You’ll be glad you did when a crisis hits.
At Liquid Web, our Heroic Support team goes above and beyond the call of the standard hosting support staff for all our clients, large or small. If you’re ready to experience the difference the right support team can make for your business, get in touch with us today.