We have an unusual approach to providing technical support; we do not accept incoming phone calls. People who do not use DiscountASP.NET, or who are shopping for a new host, often criticize us for that approach. They are used to the status quo, which is a toll-free number they can use to speak to someone at the company. They don’t understand how support can be done via email and still be effective.
Interestingly though, our users certainly seem to understand, and their satisfaction would seem to suggest that our methods are indeed effective and meet, or exceed, their needs:
Providing technical support for certain aspects of web hosting is a very simple proposition. It’s the other bits that get messy, and it’s those other bits that we focus on.
Our support staff is painstakingly selected, and we only accept people who meet certain minimum technical knowledge requirements. Once we take them in, we spend a significant amount of time training them. It will be months before they will be answering your difficult ticket.
Now, about those hosts with the toll-free phone numbers — if you expect to speak to someone with more than a few days (or at best a few weeks) of training when you call them, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the odds are that you will not.
Because it isn’t possible – and I don’t mean economically – to train enough people to answer phone calls around the clock while still maintaining overall competence. It isn’t possible because there aren’t enough smart, high-quality candidates within 100 miles of the call center to fill all those seats.
I say that with some degree of certainty, since I spent more than a decade hiring web hosting tech support staff here in Los Angeles, an area that is home to 10 million residents within driving distance of our office. If we have to expend a lot of time and effort to find people who are up to our standards here, imagine how difficult (read: impossible) it is in smaller areas.
I won’t even get into the impossibility of maintaining high standards when your support staff is 9,000 miles away. Listen, I’m not here to put down anyone who takes the outsourcing route. I get it. It’s cheap, it’s easy. But it’s
almost always a bad experience for the end user, and frankly, it’s just not our style.
So in order to answer phone calls all day every day, you have to employ a less talented work force, which in turn degrades the experience for you, the caller. We only take the cream of the crop, so we had to devise a system that most effectively applies them to the task at hand: providing the best tech support available anywhere, for any price.
We think we’ve been extremely successful in building a great support staff, and more importantly, a support culture that puts quick, expert service above all else.
And as the latest survey shows, our users would agree.