I have been recently participant of several board discussions, which pointed the eventual impact of the financial crisis on the loyalty of the customers – not only shared hosting clients but those who use VPS or dedicated hosting.
The posed question was towards owners of the hosting business, mostly. It contained and a sub-question, what we can do to keep the customers loyal, because the crisis affects all of us.
Is it time for a change?
What kind of change? The business model the companies use or the way they treat their clients. Well, hopefully we are talking about the first. The suggestions of the forum thread were, that the hosts should start involving themselves more and more in the day-to-day problems of the company, talk to the customers, offer them different discounts, loyalty rewards etc.
All this sound fine – but lets see the picture as whole. You have a web based business and you need to push more and more to gain space in your niche. Then you need reliability in terms of quality of service you pay for. Also, you need friendly and helpful customer service to help you with your site building.
What else – yes, competitive prices of your host, that will keep you away from the rivals. All these are very good starting point for every customer, who values and knows what lies in the hosting bottom line.
The other piece of this would be the accurate attitude, the right efforts and business view of every web hosting involved person who want to profit from his business, from one side, and to provide quality of service, value added offers, not-loss-leading market strategies and overselling practices.
If one day (after the crisis is gone) the customer starts to evaluate adequately what he gets, and what he pays for and the hosting companies starts to carry for their clients, not only in times of global economical stagnation, then it will become evident if this business comes deserves the loyalty of the consumer.