Quality customer support in web hosting is expensive to provide. And if you’re with a provider like NameHero that takes customer care very seriously, you’ll notice that there are plenty of cheaper web hosts out there. You might even ask yourself “Is it worth it?”. In this article, I’ll explain how customer support in web hosting is like insurance. When everything runs smoothly, you wonder if the premiums are good value. But one day when the chips are down, you’ll thank yourself for your foresight!
Customer Support – the Only “Unscalable” Cost
Web hosts try and lower their “per customer” cost by a variety of techniques. Overselling is just one of them (not always a bad thing). And the more customers they have, the more they can spread out their fixed costs among them. Fixed costs like rent etc, don’t change the more customers you have.
Support costs however, increases for every new customer. There’s a limit to how many support tickets any individual person can respond to. So as your customer base increases, you need to keep adding more resources to deal with them. This makes customer service costs unique – they’re “non-scalable”.
The implication is that web hosts cannot lower their customer service expenses by taking on more customers. In fact, it’s the other way around!
Good Support Reps are Expensive
Unlike hardware costs, support reps are not a commodity that you can buy in bulk. They need to be trained – either by the web host, or by someone else. Apart from technical training, they need to be trained in how to deal with sometimes flustered customers. And once trained, they command higher salaries that only go up with the level of their expertise.
As a result, support costs in web hosting are unlike any other. They can take up the bulk of hosting expenses by far. It’s the reason why web hosts that are known for customer service don’t cater to the lowest common denominator in terms of price. They simply cannot afford to have cheap prices and also spend money on great customer support.
Customer Support as Insurance
Imagine waking up one day to find that your site is no longer functional! It’s happened to me now and again and I can testify to the panic that spreads through your body as you contemplate lost sales, lost reputation, and potential penalization by search engines when their spiders are unable to find what they’re looking for.
In such situations, good customer service proves its value. If the problem is something obscure – like say a misconfiguration in the SSL certificate, or a misbehaving plugin that uses up too many resources, customer support is what can bring your site back online fast. For this, there are two prerequisites:
- A low wait time to get connected
- Solid technical expertise on the part of the rep
So we’re looking at web hosts that have sufficient reps to deal with demand, and who are highly trained. As explained above, this is expensive. But when the chips are down, you finally realize how valuable that care is.
Paying for quality customer support is like insurance. When everything is fine, you pay a premium – sometimes causing you to wonder if it’s worth it. But when something finally breaks, you’re relieved that it’s there.
Websites Break All the Time
It doesn’t matter how well you run your site. Sooner or later, something’s going to go wrong. Websites are fragile things that depend on a lot of moving parts. A problem with any one of them will cause your site to crash. As a result, you won’t have to wait long before you get to reap the benefits of having paid a premium for good customer service. And the more complex your website, the more insurance you need. It’s just the smart thing to do.
So the next time you wonder why a web host like NameHero isn’t as cheap as the competition, just consider the quality of customer care. It’s likely the biggest reason for the difference.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!