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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Kalamazoo
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    The Good. The Bad. And the Percentages.

    As a wise man once said, "There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you."

    In the interest of full disclosure, I once ran a hosting company from start up. I no longer run any hosting company.

    For others that have done the same (but are hopefully still hosting) what percentages would you give to happy/not-happy customers?

    When I had 20 customers, I had 0% that were unhappy. When I had 200 customers, it was probably more like 0.5% that were unhappy. When I hit 2000, it was probably around the 0.3% mark. And at 20k, it seemed to go down a bit more.

    What has been your experience?

    Have you found that % of unhappy campers fall as you grow?
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Francisco
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    There are a lot of variables to simply account % of unhappy customers to # of customers you have. While it may look like a trend, they're most likely not directly correlated.

    They may be indirectly correlated, such that when you grew, you had to hire more staff which lowered support response times and increased quality of support. It could just be when you've reached 20k customers, you're large enough such that your customers feel secure being with a good host, instead of a shaky startup that could disappear overnight. It could be due to the price you're charging, perhaps increased since you've started, which attracted a more serious/professional crowd, instead of bottom-feeders expecting the world for a dime.

    I can imagine the opposite happening for hosts with poor management, such that when they grow, they cannot keep up and simply fall apart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
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    I think it's inevitable that eventually, as your customer base grows you won't be able to please everyone, all the time. Different people have slightly different needs and expectations, so whilst you should always learn from past experiences and constantly take on-board customer feedback, don't beat yourself up over not being able to please absolutely everyone.
    Darren Lingham - UK Webhosting Ltd. - (0800) 024 2931
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Also, don't forget, some customers are never happy! It's great to meet clients requirements where you can, however there are limits as to how far you can go to keep them appeased and as dazmanultra has put it, everyone has different expectations of the service they should receive.
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  5. #5
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    Jan 2010
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    San Francisco
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    SoftwareRevue is stating the opposite. He's saying that his percentage of unhappy people dropped as he grew.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    London, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedFactor View Post
    SoftwareRevue is stating the opposite. He's saying that his percentage of unhappy people dropped as he grew.
    Oops - that will teach me to write a post after looking at just two data points (0% unhappy at 20 customers, 0.5% at 200)!

    I suppose there are two ways to look at how that's happened:-
    You've got better at what you do - you can solve problems more quickly, you have more staff, faster response times, you have a company "history" that people can Google to find out about you, so people know what to expect.

    Alternatively, it could be that anything below <1000 customers wasn't a big enough dataset to draw conclusions from, or a large enough cross-section of the hosting market that you've since broken in to since becoming larger.
    Last edited by dazmanultra; 06-10-2011 at 03:32 PM.
    Darren Lingham - UK Webhosting Ltd. - (0800) 024 2931
    Tsohost.co.uk - Quality UK Windows and Linux hosting since 2003
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Scotland
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    3,728
    At 1,640 customer my support issues rather than complaints have grown from about 1.5% when we were about 200ish customer to 2% now.

    My target market is very specifically the customer at home with little no experience, although the support requirements and frustrations are higher the loyalty is far greater too.

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