Web Hosting Customers (categorized)
What kind of clients do you have to expect when being a web host?! When a new client signs up, you do not know what to expect – all you have is that email with the domain name and the client data. Will it be an easy client who never needs support or will it be a nightmare for your support team?! Here is a look of what kind of customers you actually have to expect as a web host.
1) “I want all for less”
Some people just don’t care about quality. Everything they do, everything they get, has to be at least free or somebody has to give them money for it, before they take it. When (if) those people really need something and they realize they have to pay for it – they just want the cheapest deal possible. All for less. If you get one of these clients, be prepared that these people do not want to pay a fair value for your services and they will still expect full service at it bests. As soon as they see a better deal somewhere else, they pack their bags and move on. That one dollar that they will save over a period of one year seems to give them a special kick. They will make you look bad in public forums without hesitation, if they don’t get from you what they want. They will complain to the public to get what they want. A good web host should try not to cater these kinds of clients.
2) “I don’t know what I am doing”
These clients have no clue about web hosting – but they think they know it all. Nobody has ever told them, that they do not know anything about web hosting. Be prepared to hold hand for those customers. They will need a lot of attention and will submit helpdesk calls whenever they think something is wrong. They also like to play around with things they don’t know to handle (those evil control panels 😉 ). This can result in broken websites or scripts or whatever is related to web hosting. In most cases they accept help and are very thankful. They are good customers but if you have a short fuse, you would prefer to have different customers. If you love to deal with people and have the right hand for your customers, you can build up a very solid and loyal customer base this way.
3) Joe Average
Joe is not new to web hosting. He has a very good idea of what he wants and what needs. He likes to experiment a little bit – you will have to pick up the pieces every once in while. He knows that good quality requires a little more money to buy and he is willing to pay for it. He is usually on a budget and so he will choose not the cheapest package or the most expensive one. Once he is settled with his website, things tend to be quiet for a while until he starts experimenting again and it all starts over again.
4) The Pro
The pro is usually very knowledgeable. He/she came to you because he/she expects quality service and he/she expects certain features with his/her web hosting account. He/she will know when your server went down and expects you a) to fix it fast and b) to explain what happened. If your server platform is unstable he/she will move on and eventually tell others about problems – if it is justified and true. If you can explain what happened and fix the problem, the pro can be very loyal and supporting. Things break – no matter how good the quality of the hardware or the service is. It depends on how professional you can handle the situation. These kind of clients can be very rewarding because if you treat them right, they will be able to bring you much more business.
5) “I don’t know what I am doing II”
He knows he needs a website. He does know he needs a domain name and a web host. That’s all he knows. He eventually found somebody who made him a website a while back, but he still needs a web host. Money is usually not a problem. He rather pays a little more to really get the better service. If he has the choice between your budget plan and your top notch pro plan with 25 GB bandwidth, he will go for the big package. His site might only use 25 Megs bandwidth a month, but he rather has some spare resources available – even if it is overkill (but you never know).
6) The SPAMMER
The SPAMMER comes with a stolen credit card and either a fake or strange looking domain name. He only needs the account for a few days. As soon as you send him the account data he will upload his SPAM script and files and then start sending out SPAM until you shut him down. These people suck and make your life more difficult. The only protection is increased fraud filtering and common sense and monitoring.
7) The invisible client
Invisible clients pay for their account, upload their websites and then you will never hear from them again. The recurring payment never fails – they always pay. Sometimes you’re tempted to call them or email them to see if they are still alive (but you don’t or do you?!). The invisible clients use less than half of their allotted resources – if at all. These are the perfect clients and you wish everyone would be like this.
These are the main customer groups I have seen in the web hosting industry. There are a few more but most of your clients will fit into one of the categories listed above.