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  1. #1

    How often do people call customer support

    So, curious just how many calls companies get for customer support.

    Companies like bobcares.com seem pretty expensive. I know at companies like PayPal and GoDaddy they have chat ques and they have to try and get you off the phone with in 11mins however some customers go well and beyond 11mins chat time. So, if your customer pays $5 a month for hosting and your paying $2 a min to bob cares, that is $22 just for 11mins, which would be a $17 loss just on 1 phone call.

    XESupport seems reasonable however then you have to deal with the fact it is unlimited, "doubtful'

    then company like seeksadmin.com charges $2-$5 just for a support ticket.


    Can anyone help me understand how this works?
    Last edited by indifferent; 06-14-2011 at 09:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Well, for a short period this year I worked for a very large 'Unlimited' provider who offered phone support as well as ticket based and chat support.

    This company had 30,000+ clients so phone support was rather busy, meaning that after 10-11AM EST, there were a good stream of calls always coming in. I'd finish one call, try to answer a ticket or two real fast, and get hit with another call within a few minutes (usually).

    Though, there were usually 150-200 tickets in queue at all times to compare, and usually 15-30~ staff online to cover all aspects of support, chat, phones, and ticket.

    For a small company, I don't see the benefit of phone support if it's going to cut into costs too much or if it needs to be outsourced. If you have your own staff, setting up a call center that can work with Skype (Like PrettyMay) is likely your best bet.

    I like having records, so phone support would be pointless if I couldn't personally go back through and listen to client-staff conversations so I myself could see what issues the clients are having, and seeing how effectively the staff is at responding/solving. I'm not certain, but I don't think the companies who provide outsourced phone support offers that.
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  3. #3
    Yes, I have some friends who work at GoDaddy and they mention that they have to sell, sell, sell and this is probably so they can cover the costs of phone support. I can see it working out ok with employees in house however with companies like bobcares.com I don't see how it is possible.

  4. #4
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    We actually get a lot calls, in a normal 10 hour shift I would say I answer the phone 30/40 times. Some calls take 2 minutes and some if they are support can take longer. Normally if it is a support issue that can't be answered within a few minutes we ask clients to submit a ticket so they don't have to waste their time on the phone while we fix the issue and we can reply once done.
    Currently hosting with Big Brain Global Networks

  5. #5
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    Given this is our field I can answer this question for you and have to disagree about the "in-house" comment as this tends to cost far more than outsourcing and if you choose the right company they can be just as good as your in-house team.

    We have many customers, including a number of large names found on these forums, that are actually generating more potential revenue than the fees charged. A lot of people much prefer dealing with people over the phone, there is nothing worse for a customer who needs an instant answer to have to wait an undetermined time for an email response when they could get what they want done straight away over the phone 24 hours a day.

    Additionally, by not having phone support you could be loosing out on customers who are struggling to place an order on your site that may easily be resolved by actually speaking to someone. We have many callers speak to our agents about how they can make their yearly renewal payment because most customers simply do not have the time to fuss around finding details for billing systems and working it out themselves, they call us, quote their domain and the payment is taken there and then. More revenue generated.

    In addition to this a lot of larger web hosting companies offer telephone services which adds to the companies authenticity and sets them apart from other companies. It is often a misconception having 24/7 outsourced telephone support is expensive, but it isn't always especially if the outsource company has the back end systems to integrate in to companies of all shapes and sizes and have agents able to handle every single company with ease.

    I hope you find this informative.

    Best Regards,

    Call Numbers Average
    Small Companies and Start-up's: We tend to see no more than 1 to 3 calls a month, majority being pre-sales and can come in at any time.
    Companies who have been in business for over 10 years we see around 500 to 750 calls a month. Around 25% are support related, 30% Sales, 40% Billing, 5% Other issues. Most calls come in during the companies working hours, although about 20% of the figure above come through at local "unsocial hours".
    Last edited by PhoneSupport; 06-15-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoneSupport View Post

    Additionally, by not having phone support you could be loosing out on customers who are struggling to place an order on your site that may easily be resolved by actually speaking to someone. We have many callers speak to our agents about how they can make their yearly renewal payment because most customers simply do not have the time to fuss around finding details for billing systems and working it out themselves, they call us, quote their domain and the payment is taken there and then. More revenue generated.

    In addition to this a lot of larger web hosting companies offer telephone services which adds to the companies authenticity and sets them apart from other companies. It is often a misconception having 24/7 outsourced telephone support is expensive, but it isn't always especially if the outsource company has the back end systems to integrate in to companies of all shapes and sizes and have agents able to handle every single company with ease.

    I completely agree with this! I bet half the calls I take are people with sign up questions.
    Currently hosting with Big Brain Global Networks

  7. #7
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    Customers would tend to call if there are server issues. If they have been managed well, there could be probably be almost no calls.
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  8. #8
    Thanks MichelleH and PhoneSupport you too have been very helpful.

  9. #9
    Thanks Jweeb

  10. #10
    It really depends on the quality of the server

  11. #11
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    We do provide phone support, however a majority of our customers will send an email or submit a ticket if they require customer support.


  12. #12
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    Effective Phone Support that is.....

    As a customer, I valued phone support and believes it's of paramount importance. Whenever I need an urgent consultation/advice, I always call the USA's web hosts where all of my sites are hosted while I am located in Asia.

    In addition, in any support, be it live chat, ticket and phone, it must be effective and not just sound pleasing, polite, friendly and lip-serviced supportive notions. It must be followed-up with actions and working positively with the customer to help resolve any issues and not just kept reminding or pointing to its TOS which are lopsided anyway. Practical but be flexible - will go a long way to capture the existing customers' hearts and souls. By all means, get tough against the bad ones.

    The most critical support is of course Technical support with the same criteria as above. Assist and guidance to those customers who need help and not always direct them to the tutorials and videos. Not all customers are familiar and it's important to help the first time customer get his first site up and running - that will make a big difference. Not many webhosts out there can either appreciate this and lack the willingness to do it.

    Best wishes

  13. Possessing a community forum with tutorials, FAQ's and an active support community can help a great deal towards reducing the number of help requests your business receives.

  14. #14
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    As a hosting customer...i usually end up using support tickets. I usually try to find a company with live chat and seems to actually use it so if I need an instant answer I can ask in chat. Like I read above...I enjoy having records so that way if something goes wrong I can go back and blame the host and have proof

  15. #15
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    As a quick note, I rarely call a company, unless web-based assistance is unavailable, really slow, or unhelpful.

    Example: I now do telephone PayPal for inquiries. With my personal PayPal account, I can send them an email that says, "This new credit card [details here] won't add into PayPal. Can you see if the issue is AVS related...?" and they will reply back along the lines of, "Thank you for asking how to add a credit card. To add a credit card, click on..."

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  16. #16
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    Number of phone calls depends on your business model too, like 90% of my clients have never visited my site, never logged in to WHMCS or cPanel, they just call.
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  17. #17
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    Talking with a real person sometimes is the best thing. If you're a small even having a skype account would help a lot.

  18. #18
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    Although it is important that you are not simply directing customers to your website again. If say the customer wants to make payment on an invoice, the last thing the customer wants to hear is someone advising to login to their account to make that payment. This is all too common and often enough to infuriate a customer to move to a competitor.

    Another one is support, whilst ticket support is so much easier to manage and is usually significantly cheaper than telephone or live chat support, when a customer finds their site goes offline at 3am they want to speak to someone instantly, every minute that goes past after logging a ticket is making the customer more and more furious, give it 15 minutes and the customer is now doubting someone is checking the tickets, any longer and it is likely the customer demands a phone number for future issues, decline giving one and the customer may likely go to a competitor that does offer phone support for any future eventualities they just faced, even if its 99.99% unlikely it will happen again.

    This could easily be resolved by having 24/7 telephone support acknowledging and logging the issue, as well as giving an update of any known issues. On a side note, something we do that other companies may also find beneficial to reduce costs is an IVR status update. When a customer calls one of our client companies our systems automatically check their server status pages, if there are any known issues we relay this via an automated voice making the customer aware we know of the issue, apologizing, and advising we are working to resolve this ASAP. This is usually enough to encourage the customer to hang up, and thus, not having to pay for staff to take the call especially on global issues.

    The biggest one as I have mentioned before are customers who have checked your site out, love it, placing their order, and suddenly they don't understand what you mean by "update your nameservers or create new domain", the customer, needing an answer now, looks for a phone number. If you don't have a phone number, the customer will get confused and more than likely you've just lost that order. If they could call someone, they could easily explain what option to select and assist them through the rest of the order. The sum you just paid for the call has converted in to an annual contract worth 100* more.


    Whilst phone support can be a bigger cost than ticket support, it is usually a worthwhile investment.

    Best,
    Last edited by PhoneSupport; 07-04-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoneSupport View Post
    Given this is our field I can answer this question for you and have to disagree about the "in-house" comment as this tends to cost far more than outsourcing and if you choose the right company they can be just as good as your in-house team.

    We have many customers, including a number of large names found on these forums, that are actually generating more potential revenue than the fees charged. A lot of people much prefer dealing with people over the phone, there is nothing worse for a customer who needs an instant answer to have to wait an undetermined time for an email response when they could get what they want done straight away over the phone 24 hours a day.

    Additionally, by not having phone support you could be loosing out on customers who are struggling to place an order on your site that may easily be resolved by actually speaking to someone. We have many callers speak to our agents about how they can make their yearly renewal payment because most customers simply do not have the time to fuss around finding details for billing systems and working it out themselves, they call us, quote their domain and the payment is taken there and then. More revenue generated.

    In addition to this a lot of larger web hosting companies offer telephone services which adds to the companies authenticity and sets them apart from other companies. It is often a misconception having 24/7 outsourced telephone support is expensive, but it isn't always especially if the outsource company has the back end systems to integrate in to companies of all shapes and sizes and have agents able to handle every single company with ease.

    I hope you find this informative.

    Best Regards,

    Call Numbers Average
    Small Companies and Start-up's: We tend to see no more than 1 to 3 calls a month, majority being pre-sales and can come in at any time.
    Companies who have been in business for over 10 years we see around 500 to 750 calls a month. Around 25% are support related, 30% Sales, 40% Billing, 5% Other issues. Most calls come in during the companies working hours, although about 20% of the figure above come through at local "unsocial hours".
    Yes, you got it and you have it - you said it all - I fully support and as I have mentioned in my post - phone support is the best way not just for the webhost but also customers who value time and efficiencies. Live chat is the next in line and most ofen that not, I had to make that call eventually to speak to the person and through it, I always got what I wanted to know immediately so that I can make a more informed decision and really help to save both parties a lot of back and forth email or ticket communications which can take days if not longer.

    The end result for the web host and the customer will depend on how you handle and manage phone support which are essential to ensure it's effectiveness for the web host and satisfying the customer concerns with the right answers.

    Best wishes
    As a customer hosting my sites with 3 web hosts.
    Last edited by IMGold; 07-08-2011 at 02:34 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    159
    Id suggest if you outsource phone support that you try and stay on live chat as much as possible, this will not only improve customer satisfaction but reduce calls.

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