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Advice from Resellers on providing support

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  #1  
Old
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 2

Advice from Resellers on providing support


I'm after some advice from existing resellers please. I have always got my customers to provide their own hosting which has worked well until now but I have been increasingly asked to provide hosting on their behalf and have taken the plunge and am opening a reseller account of my own.

My dilemma is regarding providing support to my customers. As a hosting customer myself, the most important thing to me after reliability is the quality of support that I receive from my host and how easy they are to contact. As a self employed designer the prospect of offering 24/7 support is not just daunting but impossible. My wife gets annoyed enough with how much time I spend online and I'm sure I would heading for divorce if I increased that even more. Taking a laptop on holiday would definitely be the last straw

I am not looking to use my reseller account for selling low cost hosting and will therefore not be having hundreds of customers and the associated support issues. It will be existing or new clients that I have produced sites for or hosting for friends and family. Many of these sites are not business critical, although there are a number of online stores which obviously need a higher level of support.

So I am keen to hear how other designers/resellers who have been or are in a similar situation to myself. How have you handled this? What bits of advice they would give and suggestions for how I should approach this?

cheers

Giles



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  #2  
Old
Nerf Herder
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Internet
Posts: 1,558
Maybe a partner or 2, or hire a management firm like Touch Support?

Or stop offering 24/7 coverage, offer business hours with an emergency cell number.

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  #3  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
You can approach this in 3 ways:

Method One
Do not host mission critical sites that demand high level of support, and provide a standard 9-5 support hours. This will enable you to learn along the way as well as provide support to your clients without dedicating too much time..
The pros: Give it a more personal touch
The cons: Customer base can grow, requiring you to increase hours - some customers may not appreciate restricted support hours

Hire another company
You can outsource your support to another company to handle support for you. They will be available 24x7x365 to answer your clients.
the pros: 24x7x365 support, allowing you to host busy and some-what important websites.
the cons:
- Expensive, especially for a reseller
- Company does not have root access to the server, and thus only can provide limited support. Most of the time, the support company would be forwarding support tickets to your host to resolve because of the limited access, causing delays in response/resolution times.

Get a Reseller account with a host offering End-User Support
By far, this is my recommendation.
With this option, your host will not only answer your technical support queries, but will also provide 24x7x365 support to your customers. The advantage to this is that it usually comes with the reseller account so no extra costs either.
The pros:
- Inexpensive
- 24x7x365 support
- No middleman, since your host is offering the support to your customers, they also have direct access to their systems, enabling support requests to be resolved swiftly and efficiently.
The cons:
- Non that I can think of


Now I know people will jump in and say "you should provide a personalised experience, you can't do that by using another company for support"...
To those people, they either haven't tried using end-user support to actually see what it is like, or if they are using such a provider, then you need to change and find a decent provider.

Good luck on your search

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  #4  
Old
Web Hosting Guru
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthdevil
Get a Reseller account with a host offering End-User Support
By far, this is my recommendation.
With this option, your host will not only answer your technical support queries, but will also provide 24x7x365 support to your customers. The advantage to this is that it usually comes with the reseller account so no extra costs either.
The pros:
- Inexpensive
- 24x7x365 support
- No middleman, since your host is offering the support to your customers, they also have direct access to their systems, enabling support requests to be resolved swiftly and efficiently.
The cons:
- Non that I can think of
Thatís exactly what I am looking for from the past one month. I know ResellerZoom is one of them and I have read few good comments about them here and in other forums as well.
I would like to know if there is anyone else out there who can be compared with ResellerZoom on the basis of price & Support.
Or, Any other host that provide end user support through live chat.

Secondly, I would like to know, as they provide End User Support, so how much time they take to respond to the end users? Is that really 24/7 end user support?

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  #5  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,904
I agree with the reseller account that offers end-user support. One of the best out there - which I currently utilize is Resellerzoom.com. I can't be happier with their level of support and from what I have heard - their end-user support os excellent. Just stay away from the budget plans and start with the advanced plan.

It is really 24/7 end user support and normal response is within 6 hours for sure. (And that is shooting on the very VERY high end of time. Normally much MUCH less) Just hit their sales department up on live chat when they get in and they will shoot you straight. They always have been honest with me on areas.

Plus - they offer great backup solutions for your site - one less thing to worry about - and during this whole Cpanel exploit - they were on top of it and had already made every effort to ensure their servers were secure.

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  #6  
Old
Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 1,523
Agree, pick a provider that offers end user support.

One advice : do not put all your eggs in one basket. In a case of a server problem you do not want all of your 50 clients to call you and scream !

Also : try to pick a provider with clustered enviroment so in case of a server problem only part of the services are affected. For example if the WWW server fails, your customers will continue to receive emails as the Mail server has not been affected.

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  #7  
Old
Retired Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: EU - east side
Posts: 21,913
Quote:
The cons:
- Non that I can think of
Depending too much on one provider can be considered a con. Also, having end user support from the reseller hosting provider becomes an integral part of his business model. In case the first provider fails to provider decent service at some point, finding a good replacement company with similar pricing and end user support can prove a bit challenging.

Regardless, I do think this is the best option for the OP.

  #8  
Old
.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldcdc
Depending too much on one provider can be considered a con. Also, having end user support from the reseller hosting provider becomes an integral part of his business model. In case the first provider fails to provider decent service at some point, finding a good replacement company with similar pricing and end user support can prove a bit challenging.

Regardless, I do think this is the best option for the OP.
Thanks for pointing that out! Hadn't considered those points...

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