Hosting companies find it increasingly important to meet the standards of their customers. We were curious what was most important to customers and conducted a survey to find out what people prefer. It turns out most people preferred speed and uptime over other web hosting attributes like price, technical support, features and company reputation.
SiteGround has recently gone through several significant changes in the past year and conducted a similar survey with their customers to see what they thought about SiteGround's service. You can read the SiteGround customer satisfaction survey here.
The interview questions are answered by SiteGround Marketing Director - Lilyana Yakimova. She has been leading the SiteGround marketing team and shaping the company brand since the very inception of the firm. She was also in charge of the customer satisfaction survey being discussed.
Q: What was the founding vision of SiteGround? Does this still hold true today?
Lily: SiteGround owners started the company aiming to offer unique support and quality service at an affordable price. They had had previous experience with other hosts and were disappointed by the market. They saw an opportunity to differentiate by being better in what they did.
To this day, we are still lead by this basic principle. Everything we do is meant to make us better and improve either support or reliability of service. Customer service is provided only by in-house trained and qualified experts that are under strict quality control.
Server solutions we apply are either in-house developed or heavily modified third-party products as we are never happy with the mass-production. We are several times bigger than we were in the beginning, but we hold true to our values that quality and good support are what makes a difference.
Q: How many years has SiteGround been around? Has it changed a lot since it's inception?
Lily: We've been around since 2004. Just over a month ago we celebrated our 9th Birthday - which basically means ages in Internet time. Our corporate culture and values have not changed. We still believe that happy employees work better and we rely on our people for being the best hosting company out there.
Q: Who is your customer base? How does SiteGround market to them?
Lily: Our customer base varies widely – from inexperienced users starting their first site to developers who develop complex solutions for customers and need a reliable partner. Our most effective tool has proven to be our open communication with all our customers – showing them who we are, what we do and facing both problems and achievements with the same honesty and understanding of the customer.
Q: Has SiteGround always had such an active roll in customer service? Have you embraced new mediums of customer support like Twitter and Facebook?
Lily: Maintaining high-standards in our communication with our customer has always been a top priority, but of course we constantly enhance this communication. About a year ago we introduced staff and client profiles in our Customer Area. That way, each time you contact a member of our support or sales team, you know exactly who you are talking to, you can see their background, interests and areas of expertise.
Our clients can also upload their avatar in their profiles and many of them happily embraced that. All in all, we believe that putting the face behind the name in the digital age makes communication more personal, open and ultimately, more efficient.
Q: Why did SiteGround conduct the customer satisfaction survey? Who were the participants?
Lily: The reason we conducted the survey was to do a reality-check on where we stand and how aware clients are of what makes us better than the rest. We wanted to hear from the source how we are doing according to them and if there's any aspect of our services we've been neglecting and need to improve. All our clients were invited to participate.
Q: Were you able to get a large number of responses? And, were the results of the survey different that anticipated or right on?
Lily: Yes, we had a pretty good turnaround and what was most surprising was that a lot of the respondents actually took the time to write down their personal opinion and other recommendations – not just systematically checking out boxes, but actually appreciating the chance to give us feedback.
Most of the opinions we anticipated, but at times the extent to which they would go in a certain direction was unexpected. For example, we thought most customers were happy with our support, but we didn’t expect such an incredibly high score.
Q: SiteGround's customer satisfaction survey shows that 93% of customers were satisfied with SiteGround's speed and 97% of customers were satisfied with SiteGround's uptime. JoomlaHosting.co's survey showed people favor good speed and uptime over other aspects of web hosting. Do you attribute a large portion of your success to great speed and uptime?
Lily: Yes, although we should add support to that as well. We think there are three things –slow speed, downtime, and slow and unhelpful support - that people would normally notice and if they do they would label you a bad host.
That is why we make sure our customers do not complain from any of that and work hard to offer smart solutions that makes sites faster and faster, that minimize all kinds of downtime reasons, and that our support team is superfast and helpful.
Q: What is one of the most requested or complained about features of SiteGround by customers?
Lily: We do our best to think ahead and implement features before the clients realized they needed them. That's what happened with both SiteGround Auto-upgrades for Joomla and WordPress and our SuperCacher caching service. Most of the reactions after releasing the latter were "wow, I did not expect that my website could get any faster" Which is exactly what we aim for – always surpassing our clients' expectations.
Q: Can you tell us if SiteGround has any plans to enhance it's service even more in the near future?
Lily: Of course we do, there's always something cooking behind the scenes. Right now we are rolling out a Staging feature for WordPress and Joomla websites in beta. This is a feature that allows clients to replicate their live site onto a separate staging environment for testing purposes.
It is a huge benefit, making it possible to stage new code and designs and run tests prior to pushing those changes to the production site. Both the staging copy creation and live deploy from staging are done in a single click. While in beta, we are encouraging our clients to use the new feature and provide any feedback before we announce it officially. We'are also having a major website redesign coming along, so just watch this space: siteground.com!
Thanks for your responses Lilyana! We will follow up with you soon to learn more about SiteGround!