Hopefully you’ll never have to call your host after you’ve decided on them. When shopping around you certainly should—it’s the only way to gauge their phone customer service skills and make sure they have virtual private server/VPS hosting down pat! However, if you skipped that step (or it’s been a long time since your last chat with them), you might want to give them a call now to test out their prowess. Otherwise, you might be scrambling to call them during an emergency, like when your e-commerce site goes down the night before Cyber Monday. You always want to ensure you can connect quickly with your web host with zero customer service automation confusion.
First things first: You should expect to find their toll-free number quickly. It should ideally be right on their homepage, but at the very least you shouldn’t be sent on a treasure hunt. When calling, you should be able to talk to a person with ease. If there’s some amount of automation (“Press one for…”), which then forces you to listen to a message for any longer than ten seconds before you know how to talk to a live person, be weary. Avoiding this is basic etiquette.
The customer service person you speak with should be friendly, professional, and easy to understand. They shouldn’t be reading from a script (unfortunately, sometimes this is obvious) and they should sound engaged with you. These employees are the face (or voice!) of the company, and your web host should take the hiring and training of them seriously. If they sound bored, uninterested, or uninformed, you already know you’re in for a long call.
When speaking with them, they should also talk at whatever tech level you dictate. In some instances, laymen’s terms may be in order. However, if you’re tech savvy and already have an idea of what you need, they should also be skilled enough to at least keep up! During the training phase of their employment, they should learn everything necessary to tackle 99 percent of all calls. If not, that causes frustration for you—and you have to wonder what the web host is really up to.
In the vast majority of cases, you should expect to have at least part of the problem solved when the call ends. If the problem still persists to some degree, then you should know 1) what they’re doing to address it, 2) a ballpark timeframe of when it will be complete, and 3) how they will notify you of the progress. Again, this might all seem like common sense! However, anyone who’s been stuck on the phone with an ill informed customer service agent knows poor communication happens all the time.
Service is one of the main reasons why more people are looking at boutique web hosts than ever before. Smaller companies seem to care more about the customer experience. If you want a real relationship with your host, it might be time to skip over the big guys and take a look at a host closer to home.