Choosing an Australian Based Support Team is a MUST do step when looking for a host. Hosting Australia operates all Australian Support teams and offers a variety of Hosting Support methods you can use to contact somebody for help, your current host may or may not offer the below methods but by following these tips, you will ensure you get the most out of your Hosting Support.
1. Types of Support
Its always wise to know what is and isnt covered by your Hosting providers support team. Generally you will find that all server level support is covered by your monthly fee, but any issues to do with your site, local devices or external services are not.
For example, if you are having problems accessing emails because the server has blocked your IP, this would be covered by your hosting fees.
But if your WordPress of Joomla site needs a software upgrade and you are unsure how to do it, you would need to contact your host or designer to assist. NOTE - Some hosts do not provide design services. Hosting Australia provides full design and support services for all web hosting clients and can assist with any issues you have within your site.
Knowing what support you will get and wont get, will make the process a lot smoother and limit false expectations or bill shock.
2. Methods of Hosting Support
Be aware of what methods your host has for support. A good hosting support provider will generally have these at the very least:
- Email Support : Send an email to a support address, which will normally open a ticket for you and a support team member will reply.
- Ticket Support : The ability to login to a website and open a ticket online.
- Phone Support : At the very minimum, Australian Business hours phone support is a must. You would be surprised at the number of hosting providers that dont have the ability to call you, even if you directly request it. Make sure you research this. 24/7 Support is nice, but due to costs its generally based in an overseas call centre(Not so nice) or you will pay a premium for it. Do you really need phone support at 3am on a Sunday night?
- Live Chat : Fairly new, but a very handy tool if you have a quick question or need information about your hosting service.
- Social Media : Help via Twitter or FaceBook is a nice bonus but not really needed if you have all the above options available.
- Knowledgebase : This can be a great self help tool. Not only can it be faster then contacting support, but you can apply the fix yourself and learn from it.
Hosting Australia offers all the above methods of support, from Australian Support offices.
Once you know all the avenues of support, try and find one that works for you. For example, you may find that more detailed issues are better suited to opening a ticket via the online support portal, or email submission. While shorter queries can be direct to the hosting support live chat system. Leaving urgent issues for the phone calls.
Knowing which avenue of support to use and using the correct method will streamline your submissions and mean you get a quick, effective response.
3. Be Detailed
When submitting a support request, be sure to provide adequate details. Remember, the support teams are not mind readers! Details such as the website address, email address, any errors that are showing (Screen Shots are great), your IP Address and any other information you can provide will greatly assist. Providing this in the first instance, can greatly reduce the response time.
4. Be Polite
We have all heard the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" which may be true but remember, in the end you are dealing with people...and the nicer your support requests are, the better response you may in turn get! Some hosts, like Hosting Australia, even reward customers for patience and being a "nice customer".
5. Be Honest
Don't be afraid to tell your support team that you don't know much about web hosting or design or the flip side, if you are a bit of a guru. Both can help give the support team a better idea of what level of reply they should give you and save more time on getting the issues resolved.
Its also important to advise the support team if you have changed or modified anything to cause the issues you may be having. When a support team member has a good idea of where to start looking for a fix, rather then flying blind, will result in a much quicker resolution. Most Hosting fixes consist of 70% troubleshooting time...so reducing that as much as possible can save a lot of time and money. Don't be embarrassed about breaking something, it happens to the best. The support team will generally be able to see where the issue has come from eventually anyway...but it is much more efficient to save time on reaching this point but painting a detailed picture of what may have caused the issue.
6. Check the Knowledgebase
Most Hosting Providers will have an online Hosting Knowledgebase, which is a collection of articles, tips and tricks related to your particular host. The best thing about using a KB, is not just the speed, but also that when you find a solution in the KB, you will actually apply the fix yourself...so it becomes a fantastic learning tool.
Consider the knowledgebase your own personal wikipedia of Hosting info. And don't be afraid to ask your host to add particular articles to the KB. They are generally a growing and changing collection of pages and a good host will appreciate the tip.