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Thread: Trouble Reporting

  1. #1
    jamison is offline Nearly a Glow Sage
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    Lightbulb Trouble Reporting

    Glow Host offers 24/7 web site trouble shooting, but we operate under, more or less, normal business hours. Very few of our clients use the CPanel and they rely on us for changes trouble reporting etc. In our year with Glow Host we have never had an after hours problem, but I need a way to really and truly offer all my clients access to 24/7 trouble shooting. This will become more important as we add new clients. Just checking to see if anyone has the same stiuation and has any ideas or suggestions.
    Thanks
    Jim

  2. #2
    Matt's Avatar
    Matt is offline GlowHost Administrator
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    I guess I will chime in.

    This is a tough question for any hosting company, except very large ones.

    For the majority of hosts, especially resellers, there are a lot of things that can be done to aide in customer support, and relatively inexpensively.

    1. Online documentation.
    Your customers might be on at 3 in the morning, but you cannot be. These forums are a great support tool, especially if you make sure your customers know about them. A license for a forum like this runs about $150 and can be a major ticket saver when it comes to support, though you are going to have to seed the forums with a considerable amount of data at first. After they actually become useful for searching, they will start to populate themselves with relevant data. Online documentation is going to save you tickets in the day, and the night.

    2. Outsource your support
    As of the last couple of years, most all hosts are using some form of outsourced support. Many of these companies will charge you "per ticket." Some charge based on a 8, 12 or 24 hour "shift." The per ticket plans run anywhere from $1.50 to $5.00 per ticket. The answers are generally not that great from these sort of support firms, but often times they get the job done, and sometimes, very well. If you oversee all the tickets that come through your system, and do not think the outsource team did a good enough job, you can always follow up with a better reply. It may sound expensive, but they do not charge for forwarding tickets to you, or escalation, only for completed tickets. Also if you are online during the day, you can answer before them because typically they take 1/2 hour to 2 hours to reply. That keeps you answering tickets before them, saves you the per ticket fees, and keeps them mostly working at night, and tickets in the hours after ten are much less than say, 8 in the morning, when you are alreay up working (or should be! )

    50 ticket plans will go a long way, though the quality of the replies can be very bad at times, so keep it in mind nothing beats "in house" support.

    There are many options available, like "dedicated seats" where supposedly for $800-$1200/mo or so you have someone geared for an 8 hour shift everyday to work for your site and no one else's. The theory is they have a good working knowledge of your site, and can answer company specific questions instead of generic answers that may or may not apply to your brand of hosting.

    Whether or not you are the only ones they work for, I doubt it, but it is possible, and for that price you can almost hire someone in the US who really is "in house."

    3. Partner up
    You might find someone in a similar situation on the other side of the globe, say, Australia. They are almost 12 hours difference than us. You might come to an agreement to "watch my helpdesk, I'll watch yours." This takes a bit of trust, but most people are not out to break your business, and I have seen this situation work well before.

    Also keep in mind that, as a reseller or managed dedicated server customer, you have the luxury of knowing that if something is a real emergency, like a server outage, or broken mailserver, it is almost always already a know issue and being worked on from this end to fix it.

    If it happens, it is known and handled for you, more than likely before and if you ever know, while you sleep, as well as in the day. Most problems for resellers that arise in the middle of the night are not emergencies, which can be a real beauty if you like to sleep!

    Anyways, that's my .02

    Hope it helps.

    Rest easy and good luck finding a solution that works well for you.
    Last edited by Matt; 01-29-2006 at 12:16 AM.
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