Like any business, reselling web hosting requires that you have some knowledge of the product that you are selling. You should understand your customer’s expectations and provide both business and technical proficiency that will help earn your customers’ (or potential customers) trust. The following is a list of common reseller hosting issues that customers have often encountered with inexperienced reseller business owners.
- Not Understanding Web Hosting
- Understanding Customer Expectations
- Knowing the Proper Access Rights and Permissions of Your Hosting
- Understanding the Business Software for Reseller Hosting
- Providing Technical Support
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Not Understanding Web Hosting
If you intend to resell web hosting, then you should have some knowledge of the web hosting industry and how it works – or you should have someone on your staff who has the technical knowledge. Without some knowledge of websites and how hosting works, then you may misunderstand a customer’s needs and not know that the services you have purchased (and you’re selling to them) won’t give them a proper hosting solution. Not understanding websites and their needs for web hosting can cause unneeded conflicts with your customers.
Having a proper understanding of the web hosting that you are providing will help prevent the wrong customers from using your services. Some website owners may often need something more substantive.
Properly assessing your customer needs will help you retain customers and even help those whose business grows beyond what you can provide. This will help to provide a positive experience that will reflect on you and your reseller hosting business.
Understanding Customer Expectations
You should be very clear about what you offer in your reseller hosting business. It should be in writing so that it can be referenced in the event of a misunderstanding. This will help prevent questions like, “Why can’t you do that for me?”
Avoid overselling your services. Make a list of what you intend to provide and break it down by time and cost. If you can’t provide the services that you have stated you will provide, then your web hosting customers will lose trust in you and you will lose business. This can also affect future business as others learn about your reputation.
Any service that you provide should be done in a timely manner. Be honest with your customers. If you are a one-man shop and you’re overworked, then let your customers know. Prioritize your customers and keep communicating with them.
Being open and honest will go a long way in keeping your customers loyal to you and your services.
Knowing the Proper Access Rights and Permissions of Your Hosting
Another common reseller hosting issue is the lack of understanding of the required access rights and permissions that a website may require. For example, there may be a plugin on a customer site that references an outside resource and a port may be required to be open. Access will depend on the hosting solution that you select.
In some cases, you would be required to speak with technical support of your web hosting solution. This is quite often the case with shared servers.
For InMotion Hosting, you will only have root administrator rights if you subscribe to the VPS Reseller plan. Understanding the limits of your access and permissions of your web hosting plan will help stem some of the confusion you may encounter with customer website needs.
Using the Business Software for Managing Your Reseller Hosting
Not having an understanding of the software for managing the business side of your reseller hosting solution can lead to issues with your customers and with your own profits. Very often a hosting service will provide software that will help you to automate your hosting business.
InMotion Hosting’s Reseller solutions provide WHMCS (WebHost Manager Complete Solution). Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of how these types of applications work and you’ll prevent possible billing issues while making the management of your reseller hosting a simpler task.
Providing Technical Support
One of the hallmarks of service provided by a web hosting provider is their technical support. If you are a web hosting provider and you don’t provide timely and informative support, then you will quickly lose your customers. If you don’t have the technical expertise yourself, then you need to make sure that you have access to a resource or person who does.
You should clearly state how you will provide support. Identify if you will have support through email, chat, or phone. If you’re doing the support yourself, make sure to set a proper Service Level Agreement (SLA) so that your customers have a proper understanding of what level of service you will be providing.
InMotion Hosting will provide technical support for reseller hosting subscribers and in some cases even help clients of subscribers as long as the reseller owner notes it on his or her account for reference and account validation.
Now you have an understanding of the common reseller hosting issues often seen with inexperienced reseller business owners. A competent reseller hosting business owner will know the limitations of their hosting, the services they provide, and a good understanding of what their customers need and want.
If you understand these requirements then you’re on the right track to having happy customers and a successful business.
To learn more about reseller hosting from InMotion Hosting, check out our Reseller Hosting articles.