What do you think the biggest reason to switch web hosting companies is? According to a 2014 survey by 34SP, a web hosting company, it’s not cost or the amount of down time—it’s the quality (or lack thereof) of local service. Just a few years ago, rising costs was the biggest complaint amongst web host customers. However, a shocking 48 percent of those surveyed said “lack of local customer support” and limited technical knowledge was the biggest issue today.
In other words, they’re sick of outsourcing and they’re not taking it anymore. Comparatively, just 21 percent of respondents said price alone would make them look for a new host. However, 71 percent admitted that they just didn’t have the time, and couldn’t take the gamble, of messing things up by moving hosts.
People are feeling stuck, even though there are thousands of web hosting companies that might offer a better solution than what they have.
Show Me the Money!
You can pay as much or as little as you’d like for web hosting services—from freemium models to several thousand dollars per month for a managed, dedicated server. However, recent research reveals that more and more businesses are willing to pay a premium for quality customer service. This study, which took place in the UK, showcased that “non-UK support centers” repeatedly top the list of why people are switching companies (when they finally make that move, that is).
Of course, making that shift is challenging. An outage, even if just for a few hours, can lead to serious profit loss. Businesses get disrupted, customers don’t understand what’s happening (and blame the website owner), so a lot of people are sticking with what they’ve got. According to respondents, 34 percent say they would need to experience between three and five outages per year to actually switch hosts.
According to the owner of 34SP, “Our research shows that businesses are moving away from cheaper hosting packages and are now willing to invest in a professional web host that provides a fully comprehensive package including excellent technical support. With the many software bugs coming to light in recent months, including Heartbleed, Shellshock and Poodle, security is a huge concern. Businesses need to know that their web hosts will act immediately to patch up any vulnerabilities.”
This is actually great news for startup web hosting companies who put service before scraping up as much cash flow as possible. While outsourcing is an option once a businesses reaches a certain size, outsourcing overseas can be problematic. Web host customers want to know that their customer service rep knows what they’re talking about, have actually been trained locally by the head honchos of the company, and won’t waste their time.
While a number of customers are putting up with poor service, that won’t last for long. Once customers realize that great web hosting companies will make transitioning easy, they’ll be more likely to switch—and asking themselves why they didn’t do it sooner.