How and Why Web Hosting Companies Should Be Putting Their Customers First
The world of web hosting is nearing saturation. There are a huge number of companies selling web hosting, both as first-party providers, and as resellers that are simply offering co-branded versions of other company’s products. These hosting companies are competing in a crowded market where there is little to differentiate most providers other than location and price.
If you want your company to stand out from the crowd then it is important that you learn how to give customers what they want. Most customers want reliable hosting that is fast enough to meet their needs, capable enough to run their chosen software, and affordable enough that they can sustain their project. This is a difficult enough package of requirements to meet, especially given that some hosting packages are offered at prices as low as $15 a year.
Putting Your Customers First
There are a few different kinds of customer in web hosting – there are some who have highly specific requirements; they need a super-high bandwidth host, one that is adult-content friendly, or one that runs a very specific configuration of sever. These customers will pay whatever price is required to meet those requirements, and they will never by your customer if you are not able to serve them.
A great example of putting your customers first is what Hostgator did throughout the last couple of years as seen in this review.
Another type of customer is the one that simply wants to throw up a blog and forget about it. This customer wants the cheapest hosting that can get the job done, and as long as you do not annoy them through regular outages, poor performance or other customer service issues, once you have attracted this customer you will have them for life – they will set up their account to auto-bill, and provide you with a steady income.
The third main type of customer is the one that wants to run a good website, and that maybe has some requirements such as a specific version of the GD image library, or a slightly higher than normal PHP Memory Limit. They want to know that the website they are running will be stable, and that they will be able to update the scripts they use on a regular basis. They don’t mind paying a little extra for stable, high performance and reliable hosting.
These customers are likely to be an easy sell for “VBulletin Hosting” or “OS Commerce Hosting” – packages that are slightly different to the ones that they normally run, and that cost slightly more, but that are updated regularly to make sure that they offer the best possible performance for that particular package.
A hosting company that puts their customers first and offers reliable, low hassle hosting that does the job for those users will get a lot of word of mouth advertising and will be in a good position to grow themselves as a prominent service provider in that particular niche. This is perhaps the best way to build up a good profit margin and a steady customer base.