Web hosting has never been a fancy business. But now many web hosts are making moves to introduce different PR techniques in their efforts to attract new customers. Classic PR, a weapon used mostly from offline businesses has become a mainstream technique for online companies and web hosts in particular.
Web hosting companies, especially the shared ones really need to put a cherry on top of their products and services. I’ve been away from web hosting forums for a while so I decided to visit some today. The most discussed topics were the same as they used to be. Someone was looking for 5 GB space and 50 GB monthly bandwidth at $2 per month, another was hunting for free domain and free service, some people posted reviews about a providers.
The thing I can not find is a discussion about quality and the perspective. From what I see I can say that the only thing that focuses attention is the cheap price and the tons of space and monthly transfer. The results is that cheap web hosting went really cheap! Most popular shared hosts went this way in effort to grab money.
I’ve written at least five different articles against underpricing and overselling. Now I would like to offer some suggestions on how to keep reasonable prices and still make sales.
Press and NewsReleases
To release news always means you have something to say. Anything that happens in a given company can be said and releases as news. From new hardware equipment, network and data center improvements to web site development and human resources. There are many companies that specialize in Online PR. I can recommend PRWeb and The Open Press. I’ve used them both and I’m satisfied of their services.
I strongly believe that anyone who is passionate about their business and cares for their customers always has something to say! So news and PR are very important and help any web host to create an unique brand.
Supporting Local Communities
Charity and other activities in benefit of the society is another thing that any responsible company must take part. This may include support for schools and other local institutions, and many other activities that show your appreciation to people around.
Introducing New Ways To Communication
To be innovative is very important thing for any web hosting business that serves personal web sites and small businesses. Working on IT field and powering web businesses is only one side of the story. The other one is that there are real people behind those sites. Each of them has a different view about customer care and support. Some prefer to talk on the phone, others like support tickets or prefer to chat. Phone support proves that the company has a physical presence and someone to pick up the phone (even some host just post phone numbers). But there are people who feel more convenient to keep their privacy and to chat.
It is the same with the tutorials. Most users prefer to chat. But there are companies that use animated characters to provide information, and their customers find that interesting. Text messages (SMS) can also be used to provide support. I’m sure that you can even find some companies that provide support using webcam.
Entertaining The Web Surfers
One of the most important things is to provide trouble free service. This is the first step to make your customers happy. The second one is to make them feel comfortable when they use it. The average web site owner spends at least 24 week working on their web site. when people spend too much time focused on something they need to feel good.
I get anxious every time when there is something wrong with my web sites. If my web host doesn’t help me I’ll move right away. I’m very happy that I know some people in web hosting business so I can talk to them, not just to use their services. That really makes me feel comfortable.
The last thing that a good provider must do is to entertain its customers. You can take an example from Wireless (GSM) operators. They don’t just sell phones and minutes. Most of them want to make their customers to have fun with their cell phones in effort to earn more. Web host can also think of keeping their customers amused. Having fun is very important. So try anything that may impress people – games, quizzes, lottery, etc.