5 Things Web Hosting Companies need to improve immediately
24th July 2017

For web designers, dealing with web hosting companies on a number of issues is part and parcel of life. However some hosting companies have such convoluted processes and systems that it can drive the web designer up the wall.

The hosting companies that will get and retain my business are the ones who are ETDBW -  'Easy to do Business With'. This means they need to improve on the following pronto!

1. Long complicated and tedious IVRS Systems for support calls

Recently we had to communicate with a hosting company (hint: non-stationary father) where we had to go through 7, yes 7, levels before we go through to the right person. Now multiply this with 10-12 calls and we have a case for insanity!

An example
Press 1 for English
Press 1 for existing customer
Enter customer id
Enter customer pin
Press 1 support
Press 3 for hosting support

Finally...the agent...and now we have to explain our entire problem...again.

Direct dial - that is all there should be, no IVRS crap and a wait of no more than 1 minute max.

2. More than one support person answering an account queries

Do you remember that movie where the character loses his memory every 10 seconds and literally starts over again and again. Dealing with some hosting companies is like that. Every time you get someone on the line you need to explain your issue all over again. Over and over, till you slowly go insane.

Let's have a support person who knows our case and history and can help throughout the installation or upgradation process. And give us direct access to that person as long as we are hosted with you or that person is on your payroll.

3. Unnecessary and complicated interfaces for client interaction

There is a kid's game called Find Elmo, where you are supposed to spot Elmo the character on a busy and intentionally cluttered page. It's fun if you are a kid, not so much if you are on the hosting providers website.

Some hosting providers sites are a labyrinth to trap and devour poor unsuspecting web designers. Instead of a straight forward interface it has layers on layers of options and popups and dropdowns that make your head spin.

Busy web developers have very limited time and would like a simple uncluttered interface to access and use the common hosting features. Web hosting companies need to take a serious look at their customer account setup.

4. Customer support persons who are powerless to intervene in issues

After spending 20 minutes trying to get through to a support personnel it is really awful to be told that they do not have access or rights, and we will have to do the setting ourselves. Then they point you to a cryptic and useless instructions page which we have to then figure out and do ourselves.

Wouldn't it be easier if they can quickly gain access and make the settings instead of making the customer spend an hour trying to figure out the right combination of actions to take from a poorly designed and written knowledgebase page?

Empower your executives to quickly solve the customers issues instead of lobbing the ball back into the customers court.

5. Asking for unnecessary feedback and ratings of lousy services

Yes, we get it. You believe in feedback and want us to rate every interaction but we really don't care. If your service was good we want to move on, if your service was lousy we really don't want to spare even more time telling you its lousy. If you don't have internal systems to determine how an interaction went, then you have a bigger problem then feedback.

Also please stop calling your service an 'Award Winning Service' all the time. It really grates on your nerves when we are experiencing pathetic service under the 'award winning' label. And btw when was the last time you won that award...a hundred years ago?

As a web designer, we depend on the web hosting companies for our livelihood and vice versa. Web designers undergo tremendous amount of stress delivering projects on time and they really don't need crap from people who are supposed to be their partners and helpers.

Web Hosting companies - Get better and get easier - fast!

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