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What Web Hosting Customers Want
With over twenty thousand webhosting companies competing for new customers, there's been a lot of speculation over what people are looking for when they purchase hosting.
There are the obvious answers, of course - reliable servers, lots of features, reasonable prices, etc.
One thing that is almost always overlooked though, and I believe most people are looking for this, is "relationship". After eight years in this business, it's been my experience that cultivating good relationships with my clients is the best way to keep existing customers and attract new business.
I once attended a seminar put on by a business coach. One thing he said that has always stuck with me is that 'business' is just something we use as an excuse for interacting with people we enjoy.
There's a lot of truth to that. We like to do business with people and companies which we like to do business with - not necessarily those which give the best price or even those that do the best job.
That's where I think most webhosting companies have missed the boat.
While we can't ignore essential elements of the business, like uptime and security, we must always remember that those faceless clients who subscribe to our services are real, living, breathing people with very real feelings, worries, and concerns. The better we can get to know our clients on a personal basis, the better we can address those worries and concerns.
Aside from the monetary benefits of fostering an atmosphere of goodwill, there are some really wonderful personal benefits as well.
I never know what my day may bring when I sit down at my telephone. Perhaps I'll hear from James, our hollywood celebrity, or maybe I'll talk to Ken, a retired state trooper. Maybe John, a Los Angeles talk show host, will give me a ring. Perhaps I'll spend a few minutes chatting with Richard in San Antonio or Andy in The Bronx. I never know - but I'm always delighted to find out - just who is on the phone when I answer.
If you truly enjoy other people, it will show in your voice, and the person on the other end of the line will hang up feeling that someone who really cares paid attention to them and their problem.
Here's the catch, though. You can't fake it. People are incredibly perceptive, and they'll immediately brand you as a phony if you're not sincere.
If, however, you really do like your clients and enjoy interacting with them - the benefits to them and you will exceed anything you can possibly imagine.