What is the biggest factor in getting customers

energizedit

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What do you consider the biggest factor in getting customers? What do you think really gets a customer to sign up with you?

Eg. pricing
disk space
bandwidth
free software
backups
24/7 support
phone support
live chat

other free perks
 

LJSHost

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I think the biggest issue for the smaller hosts is just being in a position where customers can see you. Google is a nightmare to be seen if you don't pump a lot of money into it.
As you know the market is beyond saturated, mostly thanks to all the resellers, summer hosts and those who think our business is a get rich quick scheme.

Live chat is a big thing for me, I seem to spend at least a few hours a day talking to potential customers.
People really like it when they can have a conversation with someone about problems they are having with their current host or need a hosting solution for one thing or another. Live chat has sealed the deal for me so many times. Be a person who can help people not just a faceless website.

Of course pricing is important but I think anyone who has been with another firm and wants to move because of problems, cost is not their main concern.
All the other things you list are important but word of mouth from happy customers and organic growth is the main thing, don't try to fight for customers just provide excellent service and more will follow.

To use an old expression "the cream always rises to the top" it's just a question of time :D

Hope this helps.
 

FerdieQO

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Eg. pricing
disk space
bandwidth
free software
backups
24/7 support
phone support
live chat
When I buy a hosting plan, I check their pricing first, after that check what specs they can give me with that price. I don't care about backup because I can create backups by myself. 24/7 support is a must but live chat even better.
 

Gecko

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What do you consider the biggest factor in getting customers? What do you think really gets a customer to sign up with you?

Eg. pricing
disk space
bandwidth
free software
backups
24/7 support
phone support
live chat

other free perks
I'll speak from a customer point of view and tell you what I look for and what many people I know and deal with look for in becoming a customer of a hosting service.

First, It's extremely rare that I hear anybody making a choice based on disk space. Most hosting plans are more than enough for what a site/s owner needs. Bandwidth is also something that doesn't seem to be a main priority.

Now what will attract more new and continued customers IMO based on personal needs and what I know that associates look for. One thing that is high on the list of wants is backups. After that it seems to be a toss-up between pricing and good support. I don't think that the type of support matters as much as just that the support is good and takes care of issues quickly. As for the pricing, as long as it's competitive then I don't think it's much of an issue.

Those are the main things that I look for and what I see others I deal with look for.


I agree with LJSHost in that getting customers to see a smaller host is a big challenge. So doing everything that you can to be seen and visible will be a big plus. I know that most small hosts don't have huge advertising budgets so sometimes you have to be creative in getting exposure.

I do think it's a shame that most people don't see many of the smaller hosting companies because many of the smaller ones will treat their customers much better than the big hosts. Many of the smaller hosts will go out of their way to make their customers happy and most of the big hosts can care less about the customers as long as they get their money.

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth. :)
 

HostXNow

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I agree regarding LiveChat being a must. I think one of the reasons HostGator was so popular back in the day because A LOT of users always used their Live Chat. Live Chat has been a big requirement for a long time. Many were not happy that HG took down their Live Chat, and even when they readded it no one could seem to get hold of anyone thus a lot of their customers moved to a different provider who offered better live chat service. Not sure how HG's live chat is now.
 

HostMeRightCoUk

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We have a lot of customer that use the live chat before buying, defiantly worth taking the time to add a good live chat application to your site :)
 

eva2000

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Not a web host but from customer point of view with me using and evaluating web hosts for myself and my clients since 2000 and currently using 17+ different web hosts for 100+ vps servers and a few dedicated. My criteria would be

  1. Terms of service - cancellation policies, payment methods, billing, penalty charges, prohibited stuff
  2. geographic location - idea location of servers/data center for my visitors - so i have servers in London, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, Singapore :)
  3. server performance to price ratio
  4. network performance, reliability and security
  5. support - do they have a good working ticket system/faq ?
  6. billing - do they have an easy to use billing system and payment methods ? I shy away from paypal only web hosts as for my tax/book keeping it's easier to use paypal only for incoming revenues only and have expenses all through credit card especially when it involves foreign exchange rate calculations.

From customer perspective, everyone forgets to look at TOS. If web host's outlined TOS is going to charge a client $50 per spam/blacklist ip incident + $150/hr dealing with blacklist ip removal or charge them for the cost of a DDOS attack - it would definitely put me off as a customer despite me never having spam/blacklist ip incidents!

From web host perspective though you are firstly competing on price and perceived bang for your buck if you don't have a pre-existing built up web host name recognition/brand and reputation. Though it doesn't mean the other listed criterias aren't important. So get your house in order in preparation for success :)
 

WPCycle

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QUESTION...

What do you think really gets a customer to sign up with you?
THIS...

what many people I know and deal with look for
...AND THIS...

Many of the smaller hosts will go out of their way to make their customers happy and most of the big hosts can care less about the customers as long as they get their money.
Those are the key answers right there. Word of mouth. Hosting is just the end product of a business. If a business can make a customer happy, that customer will tell someone else to use your service.

This also goes with the old saying and an update to that old saying.

It takes a day to gain one new customer, and 5 minutes to lose 100 potential customers. This was before the internet and social media.

Now...it takes 2 days to gain a customer, and 1 minute to lose 800,000+ potential customers.

Getting good reviews from a customer doesn't always happen. Humans take things for granted and never thank thier host, the mail person who delivers mail the same time...everyday....no matter the weather. A school teacher...a good utility company.

But upset a customer....forums, facebook, twitter, IG, youtube, texts, and every single social media with the 3940759238023 of them will spread the word about that bad service.


I agree regarding LiveChat being a must. I think one of the reasons HostGator was so popular back in the day because A LOT of users always used their Live Chat. Live Chat has been a big requirement for a long time. Many were not happy that HG took down their Live Chat, and even when they readded it no one could seem to get hold of anyone thus a lot of their customers moved to a different provider who offered better live chat service. Not sure how HG's live chat is now.
Live chat...it's a hit or miss.

A host having live chat and using it effectively...it then becomes a good tool.

Here's how HG used Live chat years ago;

Go to chat with an issue. They respond. If the issue is not resolved, they then open a ticket for you. Sit back and wait for some back and forth for some 56 hours to get the issue resolved.

Hosts without chat or phone support. Send a ticket....a reply within 15 to 30 minutes and a lot of times the reply is a resolution, or a verification of the issue, which then the next reply is a resolution.

Live chats are cool if it's not used as a false sense of support.
 
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Gecko

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If a business can make a customer happy, that will customer will tell someone else to use your service.
This is something that seems to have been forgotten by most companies these days, especially ones that are online businesses.


Getting good reviews from a customer doesn't always happen. Humans take things for granted
I completely agree. The thing is that if they are happy then they usually will not express that but if they are unhappy and you'll surely hear about it!
 

Semayra

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1st Approach....User will trust a Hosting company by recommendation
if he doesn't get any recommendation from colleague,friend... then he will go well knowned/established company.

Price doesn't matter , if any person have a serious Website
 

archhosting

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I think it's mainly the website and support. If your buying from a web hosting company, you want the people running it to have a decent website and know what their doing with servers, right?
 
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