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  #1  
Old 11-19-2009, 07:25 AM
hosting guru hosting guru is offline
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Live chat is a must!


I personally think having live chat support In todays really competative web hosting environment Is a real must.
Hosting companies are really entering Into break neck competition today and a chat agent really gives one and edge over the other. (well thats my opinion anyway)

I really communicate via chat to companies,It a great help to me when I want Info about the company.

What about you guys?
do you think live chat Is as Important as I'm making It sound?

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  #2  
Old 11-19-2009, 07:57 AM
Btcc22 Btcc22 is offline
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I don't think it should be a deal breaker for anybody looking at a potential host.

I know that many small businesses, if they can even afford to maintain a live chat presence, would rather spend the money saved by not having to man a live chat desk around the clock on other aspects of their service.

  #3  
Old 11-19-2009, 08:05 AM
maniakaz maniakaz is offline
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As for big company, it would be a bonus to have live chat.
However, you get what you pay for: if you want 24/7 live chat, you have to hire staff and pay them. For smaller hosts - it is not an option. If there is a host and has only 2 operatives at live chat, most customers won't be able to reach it and would be angry. And angry customer equals more angry reviews on WHT.
In other words - live chat is good, is properly handed, but NOT a must for every host.

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  #4  
Old 11-19-2009, 08:45 AM
Bihira Bihira is offline
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I agree with maniakaz, if live chat can't properly supported at required times then it becomes a negative.

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  #5  
Old 11-19-2009, 11:21 AM
dean1012 dean1012 is offline
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Having live chat support in place is an important factor for any web hosting company to consider.

The primary goal for web hosting support should be fast, first contact solution. If the customer can ask their problem and have it fixed with one communication, then the customer is happy and the web hosting company is free to move on to larger issues. Otherwise, the support system can become bogged down and the customer unsatisfied.

With that said, there are two real-time ways of achieving this first contact solution; phone and live chat. Since live chat has the added benefit of being written text, I believe it to be the best solution. This allows the company representative and the customer to communicate in real time towards a solution and without stress or the possibility of a misunderstanding (ever try to communicate a password or URL over the phone compared to chat?)

In short, there are plenty of free solutions to providing live chat support and there is not much reason why a web hosting company cannot offer it.

  #6  
Old 11-19-2009, 11:29 AM
Energizer Bunny Energizer Bunny is offline
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I think instead of live chat what is must is a proactive hosting company that does not give reasons to their customers to complain ! Doing so they avoid to have live support chat .And do we really need live chat for sales only after that ?

Live chat for support at times makes me wonder, will I keep running into issues with that hosting company (just my 2 cents).

  #7  
Old 11-19-2009, 11:34 AM
dean1012 dean1012 is offline
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You are right that a web hosting company should be proactive to ensure that certain issues do not occur. IE, proper maintenance of hardware, reasonable security policies, well scheduled maintenance...

However, no matter how proactive you are customers will still need basic support on some issues and it helps if you are there on live chat to help them when they need it. IE, How do I access webmail? I can't access my account, can you help?

As far as sales, it is most certainly needed to have live chat for sales. Sometimes a customer wants to buy but won't because they have just one question they can't find an answer for. Why submit a ticket when you can just ask the question live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Energizer Bunny View Post
I think instead of live chat what is must is a proactive hosting company that does not give reasons to their customers to complain ! Doing so they avoid to have live support chat .And do we really need live chat for sales only after that ?

Live chat for support at times makes me wonder, will I keep running into issues with that hosting company (just my 2 cents).

  #8  
Old 11-19-2009, 11:49 AM
ldcdc ldcdc is offline
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The vast majority of hosting companies are small. Having an operator 24/7 for live chat is simply not feasible for most of them.

As such, no, I don't think that live chat is a must, unless we say by that that the time for small hosting companies is gone.

  #9  
Old 11-19-2009, 12:48 PM
njoker555 njoker555 is offline
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I also don't think it's a must. I've never gone with a host because they had live chat or left because they didn't have live chat. I don't think I've ever used live chat for hosting as a client. If they can respond to support tickets efficiently then I'm fine with it - emergency phone number is a plus (something I use for dedicated servers when needed)

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  #10  
Old 11-19-2009, 04:22 PM
SergeyS SergeyS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
The vast majority of hosting companies are small. Having an operator 24/7 for live chat is simply not feasible for most of them.

As such, no, I don't think that live chat is a must, unless we say by that that the time for small hosting companies is gone.
In my opinion why deal with someone who can't afford putting a proper communication tunnel between the customer and himself? Maybe as well they can not afford having the server up 24x7 in such case?
I think Live chat is a matter of trust and professionalism. It is a must.

  #11  
Old 11-19-2009, 04:31 PM
njoker555 njoker555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergeyS View Post
In my opinion why deal with someone who can't afford putting a proper communication tunnel between the customer and himself? Maybe as well they can not afford having the server up 24x7 in such case?
I think Live chat is a matter of trust and professionalism. It is a must.
Would you consider a support ticket system an improper communication tunnel between customer and host? If it's done efficiently and on a timely fashion then it should be enough. Sure, Live Chat makes communication faster, but you can't call it more efficient. If there is an outage and it'll take exactly one hour to get it up, it's going to take one hour whether you find out via live chat or a ticket response.

And Having a ticket system and hiring people to be on live chat 24/7 are on very different levels.

So in my opinion, live chat isn't a must

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  #12  
Old 11-19-2009, 04:51 PM
MikeDVB MikeDVB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergeyS View Post
In my opinion why deal with someone who can't afford putting a proper communication tunnel between the customer and himself? Maybe as well they can not afford having the server up 24x7 in such case?
I think Live chat is a matter of trust and professionalism. It is a must.
IMHO Live Chat is good for two things:
1) Pre-sale questions and answers
2) Opening a support ticket for somebody who comes into live chat with an issue

Really most large providers just do this - if the issue is extremely minor (i.e. you could resolve it yourself with a quick visit to http://www.google.com/) then chances are the op will take care of it for you if they can but realistically you should have Google'd it before you went into the live chat to begin with

As for proper tunnels for communication - support tickets with response times under 30 minutes I would say is more than proper enough. And to counter the "what if the server is down, will the ticket still take 30 minutes to get a response?" type of statement I am guessing is coming up next I would say that going with a quality provider that pro-actively monitors their servers would mean that they were already aware of the issue and working on it before you could even get into live chat.

Good luck

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  #13  
Old 11-19-2009, 05:15 PM
energizedit energizedit is offline
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Live chat is another security blanket feature. It makes end users feel better and more safe because there is yet one more way they can get a hold of a representative from your company.

Mark

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  #14  
Old 11-19-2009, 05:23 PM
Gawkwire Gawkwire is offline
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Live Chat is that one extra little piece that helps make a sale I believe. It says that someone is always there to help if you have questions. It also allows me to get information from them instantly from my laptop while Im laying in bed and dont have to get up, find my phone, and spend 30 minutes on hold. In the worst case, I dont think it can hinder your business, unless you keep it closed 24/7.

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  #15  
Old 11-19-2009, 05:32 PM
MikeDVB MikeDVB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawkwire View Post
Live Chat is that one extra little piece that helps make a sale I believe. It says that someone is always there to help if you have questions. It also allows me to get information from them instantly from my laptop while Im laying in bed and dont have to get up, find my phone, and spend 30 minutes on hold. In the worst case, I dont think it can hinder your business, unless you keep it closed 24/7.
Alternatively you could get information from them via email which you could do on your mobile phone in most cases which would be even more convenient than having your laptop in bed

LiveChat is an excellent sales tool but I wouldn't rely upon it for support. From the provider's side of things I've found that issues get resolved much more quickly and effectively via tickets than live chat. With live chat the operator has to focus attention on you to make sure they've not missed a message etc... and they may have to manage multiple chats at a time where as in ticket based support they can let you know they are working on it - get to work on it and fix it - and then update you with no awkward pauses or emptiness.

To each their own as to what they prefer to find in a hosting provider - if every one was the same and offered the same services and support there wouldn't be any need for WebHostingTalk.com

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