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  1. #1

    * Webhosting with AIM support?

    Is it a good thing or bad thing for a webhosting company to have AIM tech support?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Downers Grove, IL
    Depends. Is the AIM support available consistently and at varying hours?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    In opinion, AIM Tech. Support is convienant to have, however it's not something that you should depend on at all.

    Back when my company was smaller, many issues were delt with through AIM support without problem. However, once you get larger, you soon have 10-15 clients coming at you at once just asking random questions, normally not dealing with web hosting or there account, so it becomes HUGELY inefficient and causes problems. Combined with that, you'll also have clients who refuse to use any other means of support and instead of say submitting a support ticket which is manned 24/7, you come back to your computer and find that you have various threats from a client who you didn't even know needed support.

  4. #4
    to colklink no 24/7 but most of the day and then to inogenius thats is very true They could get a message while away and they wouldnt know it until the customer threatened to leave them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    In my opinion it indicates a 1 man operation with good intentions. Just keep in mind that it probably means that they're running on a low crew and may be slow in responding to technical issues because it's only them and they have to sleep, shop, socialize, and go on vacation sometime. And when they do, you've got no support. Hope this helps
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  6. #6
    this is also true but it doesnt have to a one man crew either they could have multiple screen names also but still like you said everyone needs a break

  7. #7

    Re: Webhosting with AIM support?

    Originally posted by networkingtech
    Is it a good thing or bad thing for a webhosting company to have AIM tech support?
    We used to offer AIM tech support on our webpage but it often degraded to customers wanting to just chat with you every so often. Nothing wrong with that imho but sometimes it can be distracting when you are trying to help other customers.

    As a result, we no longer put up our support screen name on our web site, but we do have it available for special cases in which a fast and direct discussion regarding a problem could reply. However, we haven't had to use it since.

    So all in all, it's not necessary. It can be a bad thing or it can be a good thing. Hostgator a while back offered IM support and they were great at it. They no longer offer it however.
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  8. #8
    Ic well I appreciate all of your responses. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thinking from customers point of view support with instant messengers like AIM, MSN or Yahoo or ICQ is definately a good support option, as when a client logs in to his/her messenger and wants to contact the hosting provider, then its just few clicks away.

    But on the other hand, the hosting provider should be very cautious to provide support in the mentioned hours. If he cannot do it then its better not to give that option itself in the very first stage.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Great for sales, but I would never use it for support. You have no way of varifying if the user is actually who (s)he says (s)he is.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    EU - east side
    Great for sales
    True, but only if the staff that mans it is knowledgeable, and preferably has some sales skills as well.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    You would be better off having chat on your website that lets them know when it's closed, that way they can leave a message. Would be a lot better, and don't forget to put your hours under it

    Hope this helps.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    New York, NY
    Smart thing to do is have a live chat where the offline button is just a blank white gif =). Best way to do it!

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Houston, TX
    AIM live chat is a nice thing to have!
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Southern NYS
    The more support the better.
    Because packets were meant to be delivered.
    Premium Mzima Bandwith at Equinix - Secaucus, NJ

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    United States
    I think AIM, when used properly, is a great tool. With that being said, it isn't necessarily the best tool for everyone. For smaller hosts with a more personal face on things it works great - lots of people use AIM and know how to use it. There's no explaining how this or that works and it offers the chance to have a private convo that doesn't use up any of your resources beside the manpower. It's great for people to be able to reach you quickly (when you're online) and easily.

    However, on the flip side it can get annoying with large amounts of clients. People tend to want to strike up a conversation which isn't a good thing if you're talking to 5-10 people at the same time trying to answer questions. It can become a bit hectic to say the very least.

    So it's not necessarily a good thing or necessarily a bad thing. It depends on your target audience and how you want to run things. There are both pros and cons for using AIM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Atlanta, Jawja
    All my customers get AIM, MSN, IRC, Email, Phone and Ticket support. Before I got out of the shared hosting biz, I tried to stick with email and ticket support.

    Now that I have a whopping 10 customers, I don't mind providing the support methods I listed above.
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Florida, USA
    AIM is a nice extra support feature, but like others have said many users want to chat with you which can be good for business but it's also distracting.

  19. #19
    In my opinion AIM is not something you should depend on, it is most certainly a '+' in support. As long as you have a staff member online 24/7 or at least a decent amount of hours daily.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    If you are going to use AIM for support and or sales you should list on your website perhaps the limitations of what AIM will hold for the existing and or potential customer.

    i.e. -
    - AIM should only be used for Emergencies
    - Account/Billing troubles need to submit a ticket
    - Please use the support method in a professional manner. Any abuse to the instant messenger support may cause you to be blocked from using this means of support until you feel you can talk 1-on-1 in a professional environment.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    West Michigan, USA
    AIM support isn't efficient at all. As someone else indicated, it generally means that the host is a 1 man operation. A one man operation isn't a bad thing neccessarily, but once he gets more than a few dozen customers the AIM support will be hard to manage. Also, AIM isn't secure at all.

    Best bet for both clients and host is to offer a chat solution that remains on site. Its easier for a client to come to your website and click on a "chat" icon and you can control the security, etc.

    For us, IRC support has proved to be the best solution. All of our techs can use it and there is a log file that we keep for accountability. This method also means that any customer (or potential customer) can contact us - whether or not they have special software on their computers. With AIM (or any other off site chat system) the customer has to download software before they can contact you.

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  22. #22
    If a host just has AIM support it would not be very good. They would need to have MSN, ICQ, and YIM support too, in order to be good support...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Seattle, WA
    We provide AIM support, however as many other hosts do as well, we have limitations to support. If it's something that is a easy fix, then we will generally help, but if it's a complex support inquiry, we generally direct them to our support desk. I do know some hosts who advirtise AIM support but then once you send them a message they ask you what the problem is, and even if it is a little fix, they tell you to go to the help desk. I call it false advirtising.
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