Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Welcome to part II of our Customer Service series, please see part I right here.
Literally the entire HostGator staff is at the service of our Customers and available to personally assist, from our Jr. Admins up to our CEO. I have seen, with my own eyes, our CEO call a Customer to assist with an issue they were experiencing that required a lot of time and attention to resolve. That is not a run-of-the-mill situation, but it is an example of the lengths to which we, as a Company, will go to ensure the satisfaction of our Customers.
That degree of engagement is something in which we very much take pride. Virtually regardless of the issue at hand, any time that a Customer is not completely comfortable with the individual presently assisting them, they can request to speak to someone with whom they will feel more comfortable: a Level 2 Jr. Admin, a Supervisor, a member of the Customer Service Dept., or even myself. We want any given Customer to communicate directly with whomever can best resolve the given issue in that moment.
Our Customer Service Department is the keystone upon which much of this rests. They stay engaged on the front lines as well as instituting new policies related to these matters in a dynamic manner with the focus always being on the Customer experience. We have already succeeded as a web host, we have nothing to lose by going that extra mile in order to ensure that your experience with us is extraordinary.
Clearly the Golden Rule sets the foundation, we certainly treat our Customers how we would want to be treated, but then we kick it up that proverbial notch to treating Customers in a way that would exceed our own expectations were the roles reversed.
A recent issue comes to mind whereby there was a very short (approximately 25 minutes) outage related to one of our services. As we monitored and responded to Customers in realtime via Twitter, most of the tweets we received were along the lines of “when will this be resolved?” There was one Customer who stood out during that short outage, they simply said “these things happen, thank you for being the best hosting company.” Once all services were restored and everything returned to normal, we contacted that Customer and gave them a free month of hosting.
I don’t use the above example to encourage people to say nice things about us during less than ideal situations, nor to pat ourselves on the back for having done something nice, but I did want to illustrate one example whereby we exceeded one person’s expectations. Every single time you contact us is an opportunity for us to attempt to exceed your expectations. That, to us, is Customer Service.
I mentioned Twitter previously, you can follow us @HostGator. You can also find us on FaceBook, Instagram, Tumblr & Pinterest. Speaking of Pinterest, we have a specific pinboard that highlights our various awards over the years. Think of it as an online trophy case, many of these awards are a direct result of our Customer Service.
Social media is becoming more and more vital in providing thorough Customer Service. We are active on virtually all major social networks. Full a full list of HostGator’s social media presence, see this link from our KnowledgeBase. Please follow or like us on your preferred social media platforms.
I could wax philosophic about Customer Service all day, but really what matters is the input from you, our loyal Customers. How do you think we’re doing? Would you like to contribute to this blog by sharing a story of when we were able to go above and beyond for you? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org ATTN: Blog with your thoughts, suggestions and stories about how HostGator has served you over the years. We want to hear from you!
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
What unquestionably sets HostGator apart from other web hosts is, and will always be, our Customer Service. Customer Service is a dynamic term, and arguably a dying art form; I thought it might be interesting to discuss what it means in it’s various forms. Being a fundamentally abstract concept, it’s defined and interpreted in multiple (and sometimes even conflicting) ways, even redefined at a moments notice. In other words, Customer Service can mean different things to different people… at different times. What does Customer Service mean to you?
I suppose the most well worn phrase pertaining to this topic would simply be: “The Customer Is Always Right.”
For this blog post, I’m going theorize that HostGator has the level of Customer Service that we do simply because the Customer isn’t necessarily always right; that fact being key to what keeps us so closely engaged with our Customers. If our Customers knew everything all of the time, then what use would they have for us? In a way, our jobs depend on the Customer being wrong, at least some of the time. Fortunately, we Gators are a helpful kind and truly enjoy working with you.
I feel like I should quantify the statement “the Customer isn’t necessarily always right” with at least one quick, specific example: WordPress plugins. Plugins are fun and easy to install, but they come with a price. It’s not an uncommon occurrence for an overly-plugin’d WordPress install on our Shared environment to be consuming an inordinate amount of system resources, particularly when coupled with a large surge in traffic. Many plugins are doing significantly more behind the scenes that one may realize, with regard to system resources. This circumstance can, in extreme cases, even result in an account becoming automatically suspended on the server for exceeding the maximum allowed resources for the given cPanel, completely due to excessive plugins. When this happens, the Customer can become understandably upset regarding the suspension, though once we explain the cause and assist with scaling back the installed plugins, then all is well. It’s more or less a case of us fundamentally correcting an improper course of action taken by our Customer. While we’re on this subject, remember: the less plugins, the better.
I cannot stress enough the fact that we enjoy assisting our Customers. The vast majority of our staff eagerly awaits troublesome issues, because those issues are an opportunity for us to learn, ourselves. We don’t always immediately know everything, all the time; no one does. But our ingrained Customer Service values will result in us never letting you see us sweat, even if we’re pouring through Google and querying any gurus throughout the office on a quest to answer your question, or fix your problem as quickly as humanly possible.
We pride ourselves on this aspect of our business and it truly sets the tone for our daily operations. For us, Customer Service isn’t necessarily the Customer always being “right,” but it is an ever-expanding process of serving our Customers in such a way as to always exceed their expectations, in every way possible.
Our Customer Service Department sets the proverbial bar in this industry, constantly going above and beyond to better serve you. When we next speak on this topic, I’ll discuss some of the things those folks do and some more points on exactly how our entire company is built upon a foundation of Customer Service.
In the meantime, we’d like to hear from you. Leave us a comment letting us know what Customer Service means to you.
Written by Daniel Collette
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Here at HostGator, we are all about our clients. We continually strive to provide the very best support and newest hardware and technologies available, as well as provide informative and entertaining content to our blog readers and forum members. With that being said, we would like your input.
How are we doing? What would you like to see more of? What type of content are you most interested in seeing in our blog? As most of you may already know, our blog is filled with mostly entertaining and comical posts. We would like your input so that we may continue to evolve and gravitate even closer to our customers. Would you like to see more informative/technology related posts? Do you prefer the more tongue in cheek posts? Are you happy with how things are currently?
We would like our customers to become more involved and active in our continued growth and evolution as a company, so here is your chance to speak out and voice your opinion on things. We welcome any and all input, and your opinions of our current social media content, as well as where you would like to see it in the future. So go ahead and leave us your opinions and suggestions, they just might be implemented!
Ready, set, go!
Written by Patrick Pelanne
Monday, September 27th, 2010
A HostGator office is not exactly your run of the mill workplace. On any given day a normal HostGator employee usually encounters several things a normal office might consider ‘out of the ordinary’.
A prime example of such an instance are the elevators HG employees use on a daily basis. Both our Houston & Austin locations are very nice offices, however both locations feature elevators which we’re fairly sure were originally assembled in Da Vinci’s workshop out of spare legos a few million years ago.
Getting a new office branch up and running is a lot of hard work. So much work in fact that founder Brent Oxley & customer service guru Daniel Collette have decided to bunk down on site. Here’s a quick tour of Daniel’s original HostGator Austin digs:
Upon watching this video, founder Brent Oxley and I became concerned. Daniel is actually a personal friend of ours (you might recognize him and his tattoo), so naturally we were worried about his general health & happiness.
It didn’t seem to us that Daniel was providing himself with an adequate den to thrive in. This was unacceptable. …
Written by Patrick Pelanne
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Here at HostGator we service an extremely diverse group of clientele and as such we get to interact with many different interesting people. These interactions encompass everything from angry clients seeking retribution to happy clients showering praises. Also included are some of the most absurd and downright strange communications imaginable.
In this post I’d like to focus on those absurd communications I just mentioned. I mean after all, they definitely help keep the job interesting.
Let’s start with one of the linux administration teams all-time favorite tickets: (Ticket is read from bottom to top)
The Dress shirts ticket, or should I say, dressshirts ticket, is one of the most (in)famous tickets here at HostGator. There has been much speculation as to the actual meaning of the cryptic message delivered to us on March 13th. Were we supposed to buy dress shirts? Is it some type of code we’re supposed to crack? Does he have a problem with our thinkgeek gotroot t-shirts? We can only speculate since the mysterious client never returned our follow-up question. …
Written by Douglas Hanna
Monday, August 10th, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 started out as a normal day at HostGator’s Houston headquarters. Around 4:00 PM CT, a major power surge that occurred as the result of a transformer near our office blowing up made the day anything but ordinary.
Lights flickered, battery backups beeped, fire alarms went off, and Internet signals all died down almost immediately. People began to wait for the building’s $200,000 hurricane-ready generator to start up, but it didn’t.
In the mean time, one of the three major “legs” of power that feeds the building with the power it needs to function was out because of exploded transformer. The building was underpowered and the higher voltage motors and equipment started burning out from the heat and stress of running without the adequate amounts of power. Expensive equipment continued to get damaged.
A compressor on the air conditioning burnt out (cost: $35,000), air handlers got destroyed (cost: $5,000), an elevator motor got fried (cost: $10,000) and lots of other equipment in the building’s mechanical room still isn’t working correctly (cost: unknown). The total cost of the damages is expected to be upwards of $60,000.
As the building’s systems started to go down and the people in charge of HostGator’s office began calling in electricians, power companies, and repairmen, the rest of the management team began going into what we refer to internally as “hurricane mode.”
- Twitter updates started to go out informing customers of a power problem in the building and possible service delays.
- Employees were rallied and were sent to the other employees’ homes.
- Our phone number was redirected (our VOIP system is housed in our office) and the message on our phone system was updated to inform customers of the outage.
- Our support site was updated with an emergency notice.
- A forum post was made with additional details.
Written by Douglas Hanna
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
Update: Thanks to all of those who participated! Our second Open Session was a success. A recording of the session is available on this page.
Due to the success of the first Open Session we hosted a couple of weeks ago, we’re hosting another one soon. This Open Session will be held on Wednesday, July 29 at 8 PM CT.
Just like last time, this Open Session will be a chance for both potential and existing HostGator customers to come into a live chat with other customers and HostGator employees and get tips, information, and have a chance to ask questions and get answers from the people who make the decisions at HostGator. Participants can either call in or just listen on their computers. There is also a text chat for people who would prefer to type their questions. …