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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
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    Customer Support

    Hello everyone,

    Up until now I've just been hosting family and friends accounts but now I've had an opportunity fall on my lap where I'll basically end up running a very small web hosting company (customers are already signed up and paying non-budget prices). Based on current use/needs I'm looking at a decent sized VPS to start. I'm being fed a small but steady stream of customers so if all goes well I'm looking at a dedicated in the future.

    My main question is providing support. Even with a fully managed and monitored VPS account at a top provider I'm not going to be able to provide 24x7 support that is required. So I'm thinking of a 3rd party support. So here are my questions.

    Anyone out there with a VPS with customers who do you use for support? Who would you recommend? I really only need a middleman for sales/support/billing for the fully managed vps.

    If I'm going to need 3rd party support anyway should I be in a fully managed VPS or a semi/unmanaged one?

    anyway

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Under the sea
    Posts
    4,208
    There are a few known companies you could use such as TouchSupport.com and BobCares.com

    If you search for those names here you should be able to find some reviews on them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,246
    Quote Originally Posted by adam View Post
    There are a few known companies you could use such as TouchSupport.com and BobCares.com

    If you search for those names here you should be able to find some reviews on them.
    Personally I wouldn't use BoBCares. I called em via the toll free and I got a little non-english speaking woman who just kept saying "helo????? Hello?????" even after I know she could here me.

    I would aim for an english-based company, not some cheap outsourced company. Unless you want to end up with Dell-like support *gag*
    Crissic Solutions, LLC - Affordable VPS Solutions.
    Our business is based on Honesty & Transparency!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,430
    I don't have anything bad against BobCares as I haven't used their servers, but TouchSupport is #1 on my list.

    I'd suggest you keep sales and billing department to yourself - technical support is something you *could* outsource, though not recommended

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
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    I really don't want to outsource but since this would not be a full time thing for me I'm just not sure I can provide the support "interface" for the customers.

  6. #6
    Here is a list of some outsourcing companies which may assist you in making a decision.

    touchsupport.com
    supportpro.com
    bobcares.com
    etechsupport.net
    supportresort.com
    assistanz.com
    sparksupport.com
    supportfacility.com
    udsquare.net
    rootsupport.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    11,059
    If I were you, I would find a host that provides 100% support for your customers. I know a number of hosts that went this route and are very comfortable with the results. You pay a bit more per month, but you have no concerns about trouble tickets. Outsourcing support to a third party is OK, but IMO it is a distant second alternative to having your host handle the support. Your host owns the server, your host provides the support. Easy and simple. The moment you introduce a 3rd party, there will always be occasion when they "pass the buck". The 3rd party will claim it is a server issue, the host will claim the 3rd party broke something. And you're caught in the middle. But if your host handles all of it, there is no question. They are responsible for everything. As for interface, simply install WHMCS or WHMAP or Ubersmith or MB or CE or any number of help desk scripts, and give your host access to it.

    Vito
    DemoDemo.com - Flash tutorials since 2002
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chennai , India
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    4,608
    Quote Originally Posted by Nnyan View Post
    I really don't want to outsource but since this would not be a full time thing for me I'm just not sure I can provide the support "interface" for the customers.
    Well i would say go with some outsource companies instead of hiring remote tech as it would be tough to contact them if they are not available.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
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    3,342
    @VSJames Thanks for the list! I'll start contacting these and see if I can find something.

    @vito I did try to find one but was unable to do so in my budget.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    11,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Nnyan View Post
    @vito I did try to find one but was unable to do so in my budget.
    Would you allow me to PM you with one that might work for you?

    Vito
    DemoDemo.com - Flash tutorials since 2002
    DemoWolf.com - 5,300+ Flash tutorials for hosting companies, incl. Voice tutorials

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
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    3,342
    Sure I'm open to any information! thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    642
    Sometimes it is better to hire your own technicians instead of outsourcing - keep your options open.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by vito View Post
    If I were you, I would find a host that provides 100% support for your customers. I know a number of hosts that went this route and are very comfortable with the results.
    I agree with this.

    I know of maybe 2 or 3 so far Vito...can you pm me with whatever list you might have so I can check out their rates and service features?

    Thanks

  14. #14
    I also advise to hire own support guys (Maybe 2 of them), you can do it for a very cheap price, as many people work all day long in front of computers and as a second job, the same time the can provide support services to your customers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    Thanks all for the information! Now lets say I go the route of a fully supported option but tickets need to be directed to their helpdesk/e-mail support. How can I "pipe" my user's support requests from my helpdesk/e-mail to theirs and then vice versa?

    The other route is to just go the unmanaged and not supported way and outsource the support/management and allow them access (if they are willing to do it this way) to my resources.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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