Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: phone support?

  1. #1

    phone support?

    Is phone support nessesary for someone that is just starting out with a reseller account? If so, where can I get a 1-800 #? If not, then what forms of support should I use? Chat support ? I am pretty new at this so any help and suggestions would be very much appriciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    3,854
    Quote Originally Posted by hopesfall View Post
    Is phone support nessesary for someone that is just starting out with a reseller account? If so, where can I get a 1-800 #? If not, then what forms of support should I use? Chat support ? I am pretty new at this so any help and suggestions would be very much appriciated!
    Phone support and even live support will be a bit of an overkill. The money used for phone/live support mediums can be better invested elsewhere. Just be prompt with your ticket/email support.
    InnoHosting, Performance Web Hosting || US: 1-888-522-INNO UK: 0800 612 8075
    Web Hosting - Virtual Servers - Managed Servers - Application Hosting
    Reseller Hosting with WHMCS & Preloaded KB | SSL | activGuard | End User Support
    LiteSpeed / CloudLinux / Idera Backups / True 24x7 Support / 10+ Years in Business

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Top Secret
    Posts
    11,686
    When starting out, it's kind of easy to get lost in the budget thing. Here's a few tips:

    You'll need a billing client. WHMCS is excellent for that. Don't get suckered into thinking you can 'wing it', because when you grow, you'll regret that decision. You can pick up WHMCS licenses for dirt cheap ($12,$13/month for leased from a few providers), so it's definitely worth it for everything it does.

    You'll need a "support" desk . You can use WHMCS' built in desk, or go with a kayako leased (or owned) license. This will cover the support desk AND live chat.

    You can also use IM methods (AIM/MSN/ICQ) for live chat and stick with WHMCS' helpdesk, which, again, will cover the live chat and helpdesk stuff, and keep expenses down.

    For toll free, you probably don't want to go there right away. I have been in biz for going on 6 years, and I don't get but a few calls a month. Toll free is kind of fading out any more.
    WHMCS Guru - WHMCS addons, management, support and more.
    WHMCS Notifications Extended - Add slack, hipchat, SMS, pushover to WHMCS !!
    Always looking for Linux, WHMCS, Support Desk work. PM for details

  4. #4
    Some other choices are:

    Billing: Clientexec
    Support: Cereberus
    Toll free: kall8.com
    ||| Red Line Services for all your Windows and Linux Hosting needs and custom design services!
    ||| Plesk/CPanel, ASP, ASP.NET 1/2, PHP4/5, MS SQL 2005, MySQL, AwStats.
    ||| Fully bilingual French/English service!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    We don't offer phone support (except for dedicated server customers), but we offer extremely responsive online support. I think as long as customers can reach you when they need to, you'll be fine.

    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
    www.AEIandYou.com - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

  6. #6
    thanks a lot for the replies guys, much appreciated.
    Now I had another question, about how many tickets or emails should i be expecting as i start off? Just a ballpark number somewhere would be awesome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2,882
    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina View Post
    I think as long as customers can reach you when they need to, you'll be fine.
    Very well said
    Last edited by P-nut; 05-18-2008 at 09:47 AM. Reason: fixed quote tag
    XeHost.net - Hosting websites since 1999!
    Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Servers
    End-User Support, WHMCS, and WHMReseller Available on Reseller Plans!
    Follow us on Twitter - new special every Sunday! @XeHost

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kent, England
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by hopesfall View Post
    thanks a lot for the replies guys, much appreciated.
    Now I had another question, about how many tickets or emails should i be expecting as i start off? Just a ballpark number somewhere would be awesome.
    It would depend entirely on the customers, as different people will need different support. To start off with you shouldn't expect too many tickets, unless your clients are clueless as to what they're doing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,103
    In terms of phone support, you will get very few calls from majority of your client base.. You will also get a huge number of calls from a segment of you client list. Some just call for EVERYTHING. Those are the ones who will "abuse" the phone support. You will have to establish the client expectation. What you will support via phone and what you won't.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    3,854
    Quote Originally Posted by aingaran View Post
    In terms of phone support, you will get very few calls from majority of your client base.. You will also get a huge number of calls from a segment of you client list. Some just call for EVERYTHING. Those are the ones who will "abuse" the phone support. You will have to establish the client expectation. What you will support via phone and what you won't.
    I agree with this to some extent. I originally thought phone support would not be very effective. But ever since we started offering phone support, the call volumes have been increasing every month. For us, it has actually proved to be very effective as we can now speak to the customer and resolve issues straight on the phone. Adds a nice personal touch.

    Some calls may last a few minutes, but other calls to sales usually last at least 35mins to an hour. So far, it's proving pretty valuable.
    InnoHosting, Performance Web Hosting || US: 1-888-522-INNO UK: 0800 612 8075
    Web Hosting - Virtual Servers - Managed Servers - Application Hosting
    Reseller Hosting with WHMCS & Preloaded KB | SSL | activGuard | End User Support
    LiteSpeed / CloudLinux / Idera Backups / True 24x7 Support / 10+ Years in Business

  11. #11
    I believe there is some merit to offering phone support. The fact that people know they can pick up a phone and talk to someone, even if it's not used, helps customers feel secure.

    As others have said email will be the primary avenue for support, and most customer's preference.
    The shortest answer is doing the thing.
    -Ernest Hemingway

  12. #12
    Ok, so if I wanted to get phone support, whats the price range I would be looking at?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,765
    As a customer it's something I look for and as a provider it's something I proudly offer for that reason

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Langley, BC
    Posts
    2,046
    I was running a web hosting business for about 10 years.... phone support is the last thing you want to do if you are doing shared hosting.

    If you do dedicated or colocation, then it is a must. Shared hosting can only go with TICKET or EMAIL support. PERIOD.

    If you start by oferring phone suppport or live chat support, when you downgrade to ticket only, your customers will be angry.

    Ticket support is MUCH MORE efficient in troubleshooting and helping customer.

    You can only open Live Chat for SALES only, don't offer it for support. Be spescific that your live chat will only accept sales inquiries. All support must go through ticketing.

    This even applies to HUGE web hosts, if you offer plans that are below $25/Month, you simply can not afford to cover phone/live chat support.

    Or you can add an additional phone or live chat support for $10/Month per customer and even limit the number of calls or live chat they can have.

    Do it right from the start or you may experience nightmare later on when reaching thousands of customers.
    We Have Generated Over 7 Million cPanel Backups Come Dance Together With Us Y'all!
    Offer Your Own Backup Hosting Service - SiteAutoBackup.Com (Private Label / WHMCS Ready)
    WebHostingBusinessBook.Com | YouTube.com/WebHostingTutorial | NowOpenOnline.Com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    8
    For live support i Suggest Crafty Syntax. Its free. Just google it

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    73
    I recommend ProvideSupport if you want to run a live chat support service. Very inexpensive and it has a great interface and easy set up, even for beginners.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Amidst several dimensions
    Posts
    4,321
    my hosting clients (apart from ecommerce ones) generally seem to prefer email. you cant force them to even support tickets.

    even ecommerce ones prefer at most instant messenger.

    people dont like phoning. email, instant messengers are fire and forget. you can do other stuff while they are being replied.

    this is probably the reason i think.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2
    If your just starting out try to use TICKET or EMAIL support only.
    You might want to purchased a net 10 phone at a local Walmart and used the number on line.It comes with FREE answering service. I would only get about one call per week. So the pay as you go phone did the job to start. Just until you build your business.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    103
    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina View Post
    . I think as long as customers can reach you when they need to, you'll be fine.

    --Tina
    Couldn't be said better if I tried.
    www.costlessnames.com - Get your domain names for less!
    www.costlessreseller.com - The hottest low cost reseller program!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    24,009
    Quote Originally Posted by unity100 View Post
    my hosting clients (apart from ecommerce ones) generally seem to prefer email. you cant force them to even support tickets.
    Setup a helpdesk and pipe those emails through the helpdesk and you have tickets. They can still use email, but you have the efficiency of a helpdesk to manage issues. Win - win.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Bangalore, India
    Posts
    5
    I believe Live Support for about 12-16 hours on the website is a lot more important than a toll free number... However, very few people will prefer to talk over the phone, in which case for the time being you can provide your telephone number, provided you're the only person to answer it without any noise around...

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post
    I believe Live Support for about 12-16 hours on the website is a lot more important than a toll free number... However, very few people will prefer to talk over the phone, in which case for the time being you can provide your telephone number, provided you're the only person to answer it without any noise around...
    wouldnt providing my own phone number be costly on whoevers calling me?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    965
    I always give any company a call before i order anything just me, if they dont have a phone number i dont buy
    Jon Black

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    532
    Quote Originally Posted by hopesfall View Post
    wouldnt providing my own phone number be costly on whoevers calling me?
    I believe that's the point (though domestic long-distance charges are rapidly becoming a distant memory).

    We offer a non-800# on our site, forums, and a Campfire chat room that part of our team sits in during the workday. (and we're a helpdesk company!)

    Most people seem to prefer the chat room for quick questions; and having it be a public multi-person chat room instead of a 1-on-1 chat tends to dissuade individual people from monopolizing your time.

    Forums tend to get the longer thoughts and public venting.

    E-mail tends to handle anything that's really individualized, private or contains sensitive information.

    It's in your best interest to be easy to get ahold of, but you also want to find inherent ways to curb abuses of your time (like the public chat room or non-800#).

    As has been said above, it'll really depend on who you're catering to as well.
    Jeff Standen, Chief of R&D, WebGroup Media LLC. - LinkedIn
    Cerb is a fast and flexible web-based platform for business collaboration and automation. http://www.cerbweb.com/

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by hopesfall View Post
    Is phone support nessesary for someone that is just starting out with a reseller account? If so, where can I get a 1-800 #? If not, then what forms of support should I use? Chat support ? I am pretty new at this so any help and suggestions would be very much appriciated!
    I do not think that phone support is nessesary if you are just starting out but it is a good feature to have once your company expands.
    Server Management + Support to your hosting clients (unlimited tickets and servers) in one monthly fee.
    Outsourced Support
    | ManageAndSupport.com.

    **We will monitor and harden your server + provide direct support to your hosting customers.**

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    32
    Providing phone support with a shared hosting plan for the price range between $3.99 and $7.99 is totally worthless. It is both total loss of money and a real headache for the supporting personnel.

    The best way of supporting both a lot and few customers is the ticketing system. It allows you to handle more than one case in the particular moment, you can have a issues history list, etc, etc.

    WHMCS has a great one built in, so you can stuck to it in the beginning. Someday, when you grow and have your company in the top ranks you will have to think about having your own system, of course.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    642
    We've been providing phone support since we first opened and even with thousands of clients we only receive maybe a 3 or 4 support calls per day, easily handled. Most issues should and are dealt with tickets but having chat and phone support allows our clients to contact us and immediately alert us of any major issue or concern. If you don't mind being on call, literally then I think offering it will only benefit your business towards success.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    767
    We found phone support works well for us, the costs isn't that important because the majority of our customers pay quite high prices for our services so we can give them the quality service that they paid for.

    It makes us different from many other hosting companies in that sence and we get a good response from it..
    SOA/SaaS/Cloud & Hosting Technology Evangelist
    Note: Any opinions expressed are my own and not of anyone else or my companies.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    109
    If you want to offer phone support, I would recommend eVoice Receptionist. I've tried their service before, and its great. Affordable too.
    cPanelDesigns - High Quality & Mobile Ready cPanel Themes

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    8,909
    Quote Originally Posted by SynHosting View Post
    If you want to offer phone support, I would recommend eVoice Receptionist. I've tried their service before, and its great. Affordable too.
    Just from my personal experience, but RingCentral is an amzing virtual PBX provider and I can't recommend them enough for anyone looking for a 800 service with TONS of features.

    Link:
    http://www.ringcentral.com/
    Patrick William | RACK911 Labs | Software Security Auditing
    400+ Vulnerabilities Found - Quote @ https://www.RACK911Labs.com

    www.HostingSecList.com - Security notices for the hosting community.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •