On our new site we have a phone number displayed on each page as well as on our contact pages we have the extension of each department listed. Even with this we have not seen much of an increase in the frequency of calls which is a good thing. It may just be our target market who do not feel comfortable calling or just people who buy web hosting find making a support ticket far easier.
That’s not to say we do not get calls at all because we do. The majority are sales tickets which are great the sales person can ramble on without having to look up the persons information. For support tickets however support is a difficult thing to do and we’ve always been telling people unless this is an emergency or a 2 second question please use the ticket system. I always thought this was an acceptable thing to do because the process to verify the person is time consuming as well as actually troubleshooting something over the phone. If the issue is complicated the person could be on hold for 20 minutes while the technician looks into the actual problem. There are also lots of situations that cannot be handled over the phone and one that comes to mind is resetting someones password. The reason being It is not exactly easy to tell a person their login information again over the phone when the password is something like “[email protected]” without the quotes.
There have been a few complaints about this policy stating they want hand holding or even worse they do not know how to use a computer well. The not knowing how to use a computer well enough to send us an email or make use of our web site is a troubling one for me as I do not know how they could possibly run their website. It’s unfortunately one of those situations where for us as a business we could not reasonably support them while charging the prices we do. It’s the same as how we do not support every single possible configuration. For example we strictly offer PHP5 and not PHP4 or support for alpha versions or things like that. For us what makes us competitive is the fact we stream line things and over the phone support for every situation would negate that advantage. We might revise our phone support policies a bit to maybe help with a few situations but I just don’t see it as something we’ll change. It may sound back but most hosts do not have a number to call at all even in emergency situations. The majority that do have a number tell the people the same thing they ask for a ticket number and if there is none and it’s not an emergency they should open a ticket.
Anyways.. Just another rant more than anything which hopefully does not make us look bad in the process but explains why us as well as the majority of web hosts out there have limited phone support unless you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month for 1GB of space. There might be a few exceptions here or there but nothing ever compares to the quality and speed of a support ticket for any reasonably complicated issue.