Choosing a host of server between hosting service providers can be a lot confusing. Every alternative you have essentially is saying the same thing. There are little or no differentiators, but there are cues you can take to decide which one is just the right type for you. There are parameters like pricing, services provided, technical specifications, technical strongpoint, etc. that helps you evaluate and select.
One of the most critical parameters that shall make or break the case for any service provider is its Support Service. Buying hosting services is not a just one off event. The services bought are rendered over a period that shall naturally see many ups and downs. Support from service providers’ end becomes critical to how you experience the service, and how the service level agreement withstands. Let’s understand the importance of support services in influencing the buyer decision to select amongst hosting services.
A product can be a good (tangible) or a service (intangible) and an industry that consist of companies or businesses that sell intangible products (or provide services) to earn revenue is called as Service Industry.
In server hosting the product service providers’ sale is a service. The terms like Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are related and widely referred to when it comes to Web Server Hosting.
When it comes to rendering services to customers, generally support has a larger role to play as compared to selling goods. It is because of the fact that services are performances, and it is hard to differentiate between two sets of services as good or bad. The metrics are not easily quantifiable, and when they are (as in the case of Hosting services the tracking metrics are available), it is difficult to meet performance expectations.
What are Hosting Services?
How this page reached its reader. Inherently inquisitive people would know that to make a web page accessible on the internet, it is to be stored on a server connected to a high-speed network. Hosting services play an important role in making this happen. They provide space on servers (at a price) to host data (or files) for websites, so they are accessed over the internet.
Hosting services can take many types and forms ranging from fully managed server hosting services, dedicated server hosting, shared server hosting, virtual private network services, etc.
Support Services & their importance:
Support systems are in place to rescue a ship to the nearest harbour in the time of adversity and send it back to sail in the tides. Meaning in the event of failure support systems come into play, but they are active and accessible 24*7*365 just in case of failure.
It is not just failure that support system combats or helps overcome. They do all kinds of troubleshooting for clients, from something as small as setting the IP address to fixing bugs to prevent larger collapses.
Consider a SaaS company that renders a service with software to its clients and makes money in the process. The software needs to be installed; clients are required to be trained and at times troubleshooting bugs or issues are to be resolved. It is hard to imagine a SaaS company function without the proper support system in place.
Coming back to hosting environment and the related support services for a website facing owntime of a few minutes the most important thing is to get it back live again. In those moments of downtime, support agents come in handy for rescue operations. They help put the site back live.
There are times even the astute of clients need advice on proper deployment of packages, programs, updates, etc. Support agents are the go-to folks at these times. They make tasks simpler.
It is not enough to hire some technical staff to take care of your support system as a whole. A human touch is sometimes needed to handle extreme situations of failure. A 100 -millisecond latency on a weekend might cost an e-commerce site millions in lost revenue. Such situations require deft handling.
Why Support Services Matters & Evaluating Service Providers:
Evaluating service providers can be an uphill task. Everyone promises 100% uptime, all-time support, unlimited knowledge base and what not. There is plethora of hosting service providers available in the market. The simpler way to assess the large number of service providers is to check user reviews specifically about support services. That shall speak louder than several other pointers.
A good support system helps a customer when they need support but also makes customers help themselves. The depth and coverage of FAQ section on service providers’ site reflect how well it undertakes the task. Most customers before buying into a service look into such details to make an informed purchase decision.
There could be many ways to seek support from service providers, the possible channels of communication speak a lot about service providers’ ability to support.
–Online Chat (Live Chat)
-On Call support
-Internal Ticketing System
These multiple ways to reach for support provide greater flexibility and convenience to users.
Wrapping things up
The difference between a good company and a great company can be seen in small nuances. Businesses that are not a run of the mill kinds of businesses tend to have exceptionally managed support systems. The probability of failure, however, small or negligible still needs to be taken into account. One cannot just bank on the positive vibes and be optimistically reactive about maintaining proper service support.
Many service providers focus on only selling unknowingly overlooks the peripheral aspects of rendering quality service. The focus on selling takes a plunge on other important activities including customer support.
One should ideally take a good look at all the pointers before getting into an SLA with any service provider.