Photo by Andrew*
Becoming a reseller host does not require a high level of technical knowledge or a lot of money, but it does come with certain responsibilities. It should not be looked on as a fast way to make money or something that can be set and forgotten about. Reselling is a business that must be built from the ground up. The list below explains several best practices that can ensure success.
From the start, it is vital to be realistic about goals, packages offered, target market and profit. A reseller business grows slowly and often does not turn a profit in the first year. While it may be tempting to offer customers generous hosting packages in order to get more sign-ups, it is best to stay conservative in order to give the company room to grow. It is also wise to bear in mind that the only constant about web hosting is the fact that it is always changing. A reseller must be flexible and willing to try new business and promotional approaches for maximum results.
Provide Superior Customer Service
It is a common misconception that customer service is a limited event based on a certain problem or situation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Customer service encompasses everything from the layout of the company site to the efficiency of a submission form. A reseller should provide multiple ways for clients to contact the company, such as phone, live chat, ticket system, email and social media. All communication from customers should be answered as fast as possible. Accessibility and a willingness to listen, communicate and solve customer issues in a professional manner is a big part of creating a stellar reputation.
Promote the Business
There are many ways to promote a reseller host and the majority of them require only a small investment of time. A new host can start by asking family, friends and coworkers to sign up for the service and provide honest feedback. If they have a positive experience, they will tell everyone they know and that group will tell others as well. Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook is a great way to introduce the company to the masses and generate some buzz. Twitter works especially well because it can be used as a customer service tool as well as a promotional one. Being approachable and willing to engage goes a long way toward building rapport.
Everyone loves a deal and hosting clients are no different. Offering specials and discounts as an incentive to sign up is a great way to attract new customers and retain the current ones. Some examples are giving new clients a month free for agreeing to a year of service or giving a percent off when they renew. Once the business is going strong, it may be feasible to offer recurring coupons and specials to everyone. The idea of a discount is to make customers feel important and as if they are receiving royal treatment.
Reseller hosts should ask their clients to provide feedback about the service. Whether positive or negative, feedback will tell the host how well the company is doing and how best to address the aspects that require change. Feedback can be collected by a form on the company site or through social media. A Facebook fan page can be very helpful in this regard, as it will allow clients and company to interact publically and show the reseller in a professional light. Another possibility is to ask clients to write reviews around the web and offer a discount in return. Feedback is what keeps a company honest and it should always be encouraged.
Being a reseller web host requires time, dedication and a willingness to go the extra mile for customers. It is not enough to sign up for a reseller account, slap together some packages and put up a site. Hosting is all about personal service from start to finish. The client is always the most important of the business, and the tips outlined above should be helpful for attracting customers and keeping them over the long term.