iquest "In my understanding, they still can heal the wounds and make a fresh start."
After reading a few of your posts, Your optimism causes me to wonder if it is indeed possible to resurrect Iwebspeed.
After sleeping on the idea, I do believe it is possible. It sure isn¡¦t going to be easy for them to pull off, but it can be done.
The other aspect is "Are they worth saving?"¨
(I Think it could be a rather interesting Board project)
I know a few of us have given up (Or almost given up) on the idea of getting our money back, what I propose is maybe we should try to save it. If they sink we are all out anyway. Simply put we got nothing more to loose except some words/advice¡K If they sink we are not out anymore than we would have been to start with. But if we pull it off, it would stand as a testament to just what we can accomplish if we pool our heads. (As well as some online storage space that we wrote off..)
So, here's my Ideas: If anyone has any I would be interested to hear them too..
1) Contact every client you have. It's not going to be easy, and it isn't going to be pretty. The worst thing you can do with a problem is to run away and hide, the problem only gets bigger as things fester. <Like malaria starts with a bugs bite>. Cowards hide, they can't afford to.
2) CAREFULLY and rather humbly explain the situation. I would use E-mail, writing can be done without the emotions getting in the way. I think they may be surprised how many people actually will read it. If someone owes you money, and disappears you think the worst. As time goes by and they make an effort to contact you your concern can be put to rest, you'll read or listen to what is going on. This letter must be a masterpiece, it must not only explain the problem, But also address every concern, and question that is being asked by every customer. Then the sticky part, turning the whole thing into a promotion. At the bear minimum they must answer or address the following issues:
1) They lost Credibility by not facing the problem to start with.
a) They ran away and hid - Why?
b) Why didn't they let me know what was going on?
i) Didn't they know what to do?
ii) What were they afraid of?
iii) Were they hoping it would go away and fix itself?
iv) Was this a scam?
(1) Was it fraud?
(a) Was it an intentional fraud?
2) They hung me out to dry.
3) Can they be Trusted? The perception that they betrayed our trust once already. Trust is earned, it doesn't come cheap.
4) Why should I stay?
5) Can they come out of this mess? It's a real beauty this time.
3) Put the money back on the table. Assure everyone that they will get a refund of some type if they want one, Even if it is only a percentage. And make good on it That makes your word actually worth something. Sure some will grab it, the ones that don't the ones that stay must be Seriously Rewarded for being crazy enough to stay.
1) Since a lot of their clients are resellers, give them the ability to have WHM panels for their resellers. (And Don't Charge them for it have them contact you and do it on an as requested basis. Prevent the reseller from overselling his allotment or specify limitations for his sub accounts. These panels are a marvelous tool but can be dangerous in the wrong hands).
2) Bandwidth and HDD space is important, but stability is more important. I think we all know the size plans we sell and how much our clients really use don't we?
a) So giving me an extra 5 gigs of disk space and an extra 50Gigs of bandwidth is nice and all But I am not going to use it. (100 accounts at 100 Megs is only 10 Gigs. If everyone maxes out their account. Most normal accounts don't go much over 5 Megs. That allows a lot of over selling without loosing the ability to deliver the full 100 if a few clients need it.)
b) You can give me 12000 Gigs of bandwidth, Great! But what does that mean to me if I know I'm only going to use 20? Think of it in terms of actual traffic.
3) It's acceptable to oversell the HDD, Don't oversell the servers capabilities A Celeron isn't a Duel Xeon, it can't handle the extra work.
4) Take inventory of what they have.
1) How many servers?
2) How many are working?
3) Is it remotely possible to cram everyone's site onto one working server? The important thing is to get the sites up and running. The Control panels can wait (not long).
4) Who is their personnel?
5) What Talents do they have?
„« You may be surprised to find out that the kid who sweeps out the office knows more about another job than who ever is there doing it.
6) Everyone should know everyone's job well enough to do it. ESPECIALLY Tech. Support ¡V In this industry Tech Support and public relations are the same thing, Any 8th grade kid can take the money.
5) Analyze the problem:
1) Is the problem Hardware or software?
2) If the problem is Software, Is it the programming or the settings?
a) If the program isn¡¦t working right it is the programming.
i) Try reinstalling the program, If that fails,
iii) Make a backup copy of the fresh install.
iv) Reinstall all the software, and test it make sure it is working perfectly. If t isn¡¦t fix it before thinking about placing anything else on there. (Don¡¦t do like Microsoft and fix it later, that doesn't work, and is looking for trouble)
v) Make a backup of things in this state of repair.
vi) Add or move sites into this clean server.
vii) Test it out before turning it on and "Officially" moving the sites to it.
viii) Do not fix it if it isn't broken.
ix) If you have to play, experiment or try something new, don't do it on an active server until the bugs are worked out of it.
b) If the Program is working but not doing what it is supposed to do then it is the settings.
i) The great thing about settings is they can be changed.
(1) Tech support must have reference material. Get the thickest books going. They have more information than the skinny ones. (Can't tell you how much time I have spent between the Barns and Noble and the Library).
(2) The internet is the greatest repository of information ever created. All the answers are there. If there are questions that can¡¦t be found, there are message boards and some truly experienced and sharp people available that are/would be willing to part with some advice. (Maybe you will stumble on to the guy that wrote the book).
6) Take steps to insure that this Never happens again. Those who do not learn from their mistakes are cursed to repeat them until they do.
„« If the software is functioning properly, and the settings are correct. Left alone it should do what it is supposed to do. So the next steps are simply to keep current backups on hand.
7) The only thing that could go wrong is hardware failures.
8) Why does hardware fail?
a) Usually because it moves, it wears, it fails eventually.
b) Fans and HDD move. Power supplies do fail. Most other things (CPU, Motherboards, and cards) won¡¦t fail if they are of decent quality. (I am still using my P2).
i) Hdd failure can be minimized with the use of hot swappable drives, and mirrored drives/servers (Raid 5), or even a 2 disk striping that backs up onto a 3rd HDD.
c) That should minimize things a bit. There are always things that can and will go wrong that's life - if you build on a solid foundation you know that the foundation won't break.
9) Somewhere, set up a Bulletin board, use the one in Fantastico, it installs easy and has a nice feel to it. Use someone else¡¦s system, that way when there is a problem and your system goes down people have a place to go with their concerns, keep every customer you have in the loop. Use part of it as a repository for tech support questions this allows the users to assist each other, and exchange ideas regarding different ways of solving a problem. There are some very bright people out there that could supplement the advice given by tech support, as well as giving tech support another source of information for difficulties they may not know how to handle.
„« When you get into a jam admit it, and ask for help. I haven¡¦t met many mind readers.
10) Understand your Customers.
a) There is a reason a customer picked this plan over that plan, As well as a reason the big plan wasn't taken. Don't make the mistake and think it is the money factor. That is not always the case.
(1) I selected the plan I purchased because it was the right size, and would allow for the expansion I was expecting over the next few months.
(a) The Smaller plan was adequate for what I was doing at the time, but lacked expansion.
„« I can't do a lot of reselling with anything under 5 Gigs. 100 Megs may be a nice size for someone wanting to host a few friends, but it doesn't work for me.
(b) The larger plans were simply too big, though It is great to know there is extra room if I need it.
(2) The features were the same in all the plans. That is a good thing, I do not like the idea of having to buy a plan that is too big for me in order to get the features I desire. (Personally I run from companies who use that tactic).
b) Without understanding the needs and desires of your customer base you are unable to meet their demands.
11) Don¡¦t advertise or spend .01c on promotions until everything else is working. It will cause others to develop a bad opinion of you. The advertising can wait until it works, this also limits the necessity to constantly run "Damage Control".
Last edited by Carlos14; 04-07-2004 at 05:02 PM.
Dazed and Confused...
Its 3am and Dominos Doesn't answer Whats UP??
Where's My Coffee???