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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Ontario, Canada

    Is phone support important?

    I am wondering how important phone support really is? Personally I rarely use it unless their is no other means available. Part of the reasoning I don't use it now is because I can't be near a phone always so it would be pointless for part of the day. But also I am from a very rural Canadian town and well everyone here speaks fluent english and whenever I got to a city or down into some of the states I can't understand half of what people say. I'd be worried that a client from a state or other country who speaks poor english would call and I wouldn't be able to understand what they are saying. I guess I could hire someone who is fluent in other languages. How do you other hosts deal with this, hosting is broad that you can't possibly have every language covered? Look forward to hearing your responses and views.
    Greg Lubbelinkhof

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Well phone support is really up to the client. I have some that only use phone while others never use it. So it is good to have an option open to those that prefer phone over others way of support. On if you could not understand someone a simple I am sorry I cannot understand you would be alright to say. It impossible to cover every language out there so do not feel bad about that.

  3. #3
    We have a toll free voice mail box with ureach, that way a customer can call and explain their problem, sometimes it is hard to explain something in email. If need be we call them back on our unlimited vonage line. Saves the customer a dime all the way around.
    L. James Prevo - President/Owner
    Prevo Network, LLC -
    Est. 1999 - Month to Month Billing!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    i think voice mail defeat the purpose.
    client likes to listen and talk to real live person when they encounter problems. esp when server down, they will definitely call to ask why...

    Well provide phone support is definitely a good value added service to client but your ears need to be prepare to suffer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Maryland and Indiana
    Nowadays you basically have to offer phone support in order
    to compete with all the providers out there who are trying
    to land the customer as hard as you are.

    Many customers put Phone Support high on the list
    of features that they use to build their initial list of
    providers they might want to deal with.

    I think not having a Phone Support option would eliminate
    you from a lot of prospective customer's lists if you don't
    offer it.

    Good Luck!
    100% Free Web Hosting
    Come on and Take a Free Ride!

  6. #6
    Phone support proved to be a good selling point but then customers never seemed to take advantage of it. Same with live chat, most of the problems are handled via email for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Hollywood, CA
    I really think it depends on your service. I've never used a host that had phone support and have had some great experiences. Depending on your demographic... phone support is not needed but an added feature.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Phone support will be good and important if you have customers outside your area and in other countries, in any case i feel it is important because if an emergency came the clients would want to talk to you or anyother problem. Dont make it toll free if you dont want to but atleast have a phone, sometimes it could cost you a sale because someone might think if this host cant invest in a phone i can imagine other things. thanks
    "Web Hosting is not just about selling space, it is about facilitating customers needs with your plans and supporting the customer for a long lasting mutually beneficial relationship."- Yaser

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    It really depends on your target market. To some clients it's vital, while others prefer to get support via email.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    I'd have to say, that phone support is important.

    My personal oppinion on phone support, is that any company should offer their clients phone support - this does not have to be toll free, however any type of phone support I think is imperative.

    It really does not matter as to which service you offer, nor as to which language you offer phone support in - as long as you do offer phone support in at least one language. My company offers phone support currently in English, French and Polish; but this doesn't mean you have to. If you could only offer support in English, then that is fine - as many people do speak English these days. The reason my company offers phone support in three languages is due to my company not offering only web hosting, however also consultancy services meaning I have lots of local clients who do use phone support.

    In regards as to not always being near a phone, it may be worth it to look into having a mobile phone. It does not need to be a main phone line; even a mobile phone will do. If you'd prefer not to offer mobile phone support, then offer phone support - however state clearly as to what hours you do offer phone support, so that your clients know.

    Many clients these days do go with a company that offers phone support for peace of mind; even though 80% probably don't even use it. I know for a fact that none of my web hosting clients use phone support, since I don't offer a toll-free line; however they feel safer as they know they can call at anytime of the day if there is ever a problem.

    I'd say that offering phone support is a must, even if your clients will never use it. As said previously, many clients do choose their web host regarding whether they do or don't offer phone support - and today, with phone calls becoming cheaper and cheaper; you'll be sorry to not offer it.

  11. #11
    I too think that phone support defeats the purpose of support as it's hard to keep track of client's problems.

    I think email and other web-based methods are more effective, as they provide an easy way to get a hardcopy of what was said/ordered etc so nobody can get mixed up.

  12. #12

    For business customers, phone support (free if able) matters a lot.

    If a customer thinks it is important, that's what counts.

    Thank you.
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Phone support is essential whether your customers use it or not.
    I agree with Anjay re: peace of mind and generally. It gives a good impression or atleast its usefull when there is an emergency, they want to install something and are in your local area so they would like to call rather than wait for your email back because they would be able to get hold of you quicker. I have not seen many hosts without a phoneline. Make sure you have one. its an absolute must, doesnt matter who you target or where your customers are. thanks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Vancouver Island, BC
    I find phone support comes in handy for some clients, while others are quite happy with email or other methods. Offer a few methods of support and everyone is happy.

    One issue I have with my toll-free line, local clients have in the last little while started to use it to contact me, not many mind you but a couple dollars a month worth at least, it sucks and it's hard to tell them to not do it. I have asked one older fellow (not a hosting customer but a computer hardware customer) to stop, but he has alzheimers and unfortunately can't remember, makes for some fun support issues too. (the guy had 3 AV suites and 3 firewalls running at one point and was wondering why the P4-2.8 machine he bought ran about the same speed at the P-166 it replaced, argh!)

    Phone support is also handy for catching the odd server problem, there's something about these clients who can catch even the most obscure downtime before your own monitors even see it and page you
    Dynanet Network Services - 206-607-9075
    We Do Hosting - Established May 2001

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    A toll-free number always made and continues to make the difference. Consider yourself in the position of a customer. You're searching the net for a hosting company(not necesarilly) and you find one that you seem to like?
    What would be the first thing you do? Send them an e-mail? It might take up to 24h to get a response.
    You would most likely call them and find out more about their staff, services etc... That would help make a decision in a really short time...Time really is money you know
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

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