Power of the people (Word of mouth)

We advertise like crazy! If there is a website or magazine that caters to the hosting industry we NEED to advertise there. I want Bluehost to grow more than any other person, and I will do anything I can to facilitate that growth. We have many thousands of affiliates and we currently pay out more than $550,000 a month in affiliate fees not including what we spend on advertising. That is all well, and we are proud of that side of our business, but what we are more proud of is the advertising that our customers do for us.

Our customers do more for us in the advertising department than anything I expected in my wildest dreams when we started Bluehost 2 1/2 years ago. Our customers send us more than $300,000 a month in word of mouth sales. You heard me right – $300,000 a month in sales from word of mouth advertising. These are NEW customers and do not include recurring customers that stay with us for years and years. These are sales that come not through our affiliate program or any advertising means, but by satisfied customers telling their friends and colleagues about us. I cannot thank our customers enough. They are the reason we have been able to be successful in the hosting market.

This should demonstrate decisively to those in business how important customer service is and how important it is to think of the customer first. If you go for profits and ignore the customer you will fail. If you service the customer and have a quality product you can’t help but succeed. (Again I called Delta Airlines for a flight to Alaska, and they are a 2 out of 10 in customer service – No wonder they are in bankruptcy!)

Thanks,

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

42 Responses to “Power of the people (Word of mouth)”

  1. Darkhack says:

    This is very true! I actually discovered Bluehost from reviews on the web. It was listed as one of the top web hosts and got good reviews. I suppose that counts as word of mouth since it was from real people and not an advertising agency. Bluehost has spread through me though. It is used for our high school’s website which I currently maintain as well as two of my friends who use Bluehost for their personal sites. When anyone asks me for a good hosting, I always mention Bluehost. Especially since my last two hosts went south for the winter on me.

    VizaWeb completely ignored me for the longest time and even stole my domain name. I had registered a .com and it worked for a week and then all of a sudden it stopped redirecting to my site. I had bought the domain name through them and customer support denied I had made any such purchase. So that went down the toilet. Not to mention it took weeks to even get a reply from them.

    Infexion was probably worse than VizaWeb. VizaWeb was just ignoring me. Infexion practically was wiped off the face of the planet. They’ve had a “we’re experiencing technical difficulties” message on their website for MONTHS! We were finally able to track down a phone number. They claim they had a total hard drive failure. I’m sorry but unless a hosting company only has one hard drive for all of their customers that doesn’t make any sense?! Not to mention the fact that they claimed they had lost all their backups in the failure. Huh?…. come again? Isn’t the point of a backup so that when you do have a hard drive failure you don’t lose data?! Thankfully I make my own backups from time to time.

    I’ve only spoken to Bluehost technical support on a couple of occasions but when I have they were the nicest and smartest people on the planet! Not only were they able to help me out in a timely fashion, but they KNEW what they were talking about. Both VizaWeb and Infexion tech support people were reading from some kind of script or FAQ. It was clear they didn’t have a clue about web development outside of what could be taught in a one week course which is probably what they do for employees who otherwise would be delivering pizza.

    So when someone asks for a good host. I only need to utter two simple syllables. Bluehost! So don’t worry Matt. I’ll be doing my part to help spread the word and get your company the coverage it deserves!

  2. Brad says:

    It’s pretty obvious that you’re spending too much on advertising and not enough on network infrastructure and sysadmin talent to keep your servers online reliably.

  3. Matty says:

    I’d have to say I’ve been quite impressed so far BlueHost and have told friends and family how good it is. Though I need to cut this short since this time tommorow I’ll be in an exam ^_^. Proud to be part of the BlueHost family. Oh, also just wondering if there is any consideration of upping the subdomains? That’s the main thing in BlueHost which I’ve noticed is often out done by other hosts. Anyways I really don’t know what that costs you.
    Thanks for such a great service and I’ll keep passing on the word ^_^

    Thanks,

    Matty

  4. dR|J says:

    I have to agree Bluehost is geat but i also have to agree that it needs ALOT of work. There is too much down time and i think better a better network and more comptuers need to be put in the lower the load.

    But I will stick with ya. :)

  5. Tom says:

    I agree with Brad, thats alot of money trying to get new customers, when your forums are full of pissed off customers.

  6. Chris says:

    You know, I was about to recommend bluehost.com to a friend when all of a sudden I started having momentary outages. Now, it’s probably about two or three times per week I can not ssh to my site or grab my mail. It’s down for between five and twenty minutes then it’s back up again.

    I keep my site here because it’s cheap but I can’t recommend it to any business sites that I develop for due to these minor inconveniences. A personal website, sure no problem, but a business site won’t put up with twenty minutes of down time three days a week. It’s just not good for productivity or purchases.

    -Chris

  7. Limbo says:

    I’ve seen a printed Bluehost add before… which mags do you guys advertise with?

  8. David Tucker says:

    I didn’t know you had a blog…awesome that you do. Just more proof as to why I like it here.

    Whenever someone has asked me for a host over the past year (I’ve been here just about one year now) I’ve always given a ringing endorsement. I know of at least 2 people I’ve sent your way and any time anyone ever needs a host, I don’t even hesitate to recommend you guys.

    In fact you’re the first host I’ve ever had that I’ve been able to do that. You’re a webhosting company and actually provide RELIABLE web hosting. You’d think that’d be a given. Not only that, your customer service is outstanding.

    That’s why you have loyal customers spreading the word! :)

  9. Hi Matt
    I am pretty sure that the attack on bluehost today was the result of business envy. Please check to make sure that employee’s who join your organization don’t come on board with other agenda’s. That is difficult to determine I know but your in the big leagues and it can get pretty nasty out there. Follow you intuition about such matters. It’s worked for you in the past.

    Roger

  10. Klemen says:

    “This should demonstrate decisively to those in business how important customer service is and how important it is to think of the customer first. If you go for profits and ignore the customer you will fail.”

    Matt, that’s the way of thinking. I am telling people “give, satisfy and you shall receive” all the time, but most of them are laughing at me. :) Too bad for them, most of them simply don’t understand that this way of thinking separates winners for the losers.

    Keep up the good work and you will grow even more. I don’t mean in profits, but in delivering even more customer satisfaction.

    I truly and sincerely wish you all the best in the future!
    Klemen

  11. Peter Petik says:

    Well its almost 1 year with Bluehost. We’ve been down only for 2 days in that time. In my opinion (for the price) that is a super duper job in Bluehost’s part.

    Keep up the great work guys!

    Peter Petik
    Technical Sales Rep
    http://www.free-to-air.us/facts

  12. Cesar says:

    How can there be pissed off customers?? I’ve had numerous hosts over the years and I have to say that Bluehost is BY FAR the best one to this date. They have everything you need. I’ve NEVER experienced downtime and if I ever have any issues of any kind they always respond to my e-mails withint 30 minutes. To me that’s great customer service.
    Wonder if they have any openings ;)

  13. J.R. says:

    So true Matt. As a Director of Information Technology and a DJ, I too see the importance of great customer service as the true vehicle to get people to respect and come back again and again to the product or service being delivered.

    As a relatively new customer of Bluehost, it makes me happy to have aligned myself with your service. Keep up the great work!

    Jonathan | DJ Stylo

  14. Love your Blog, Matt, and I can attest to the great service that BlueHost provides. Good luck with the fight against the DNS attacks. It’s nothing you guys have done, but because of the history of great service, I know that Blue Host is working late tonight on that problem.

  15. Neal Romanek says:

    This month I am dropping my very famous and internationally know host and switching to Bluehost because I was told by a trusted friend who has a Bluehost-hosted blog that Bluehost was simple, cheap, had great customer service and dynamite hosting packages.

    There are so many, many, many options to choose from in hosting that the quality of customer care is of primary importance to me in making a selection of service – much more important than “dazzling new features” and other bells and whistles. I want a solid, stable, helpful host. I will supply the bells and whistles.

    Thanks,

    NJR
    http://www.nealromanek.com

  16. Great work.
    I wish I could do something like you.

    Starky nguyen

  17. R.R. says:

    That’s definitely the way to think. In the long run, your reputation is going to be what gets you on top. It’s all about developing relationships and so far my relationship with bluehost has been nothing but pleasant. Great prices, great package, amazing support. The storage upgrade a few months back was a nice gift as well. I can’t imagine that you guys have angry customers. I’ve dealt with many other hosting services in the past and none of them can even hold a candle to bluehost. Keep it up matt.

  18. jeff says:

    I’m a user of Bluehost, and recommend it to all of my friends. I love your service and will remain loyal. You give extremely good value.

    Aloha,

    Jeff

  19. Monica says:

    I have to say bluehost offers great packages and the customer support is awesome. I wouldnt have chosen a different host. I heard about the site through a friend that has a site through you.
    Keep up the good work!

  20. George says:

    Coming from Globat i have to say i love bluehost! they HAVE a customer service. they ANSWER tickets and not with automated crab that tells you that you are a valuable customer. I’m sure they gonna get to that down-time issue soon. My only real concern is that all that advertising money will get them more and more customers, then what? is the service going down as well like on other serveres? Is it gonna be the same story like everywhere else? In the beginning they are great, fast and reliable. than they grow…the service goes less and less thatfor the downtime rises more and more. I sure hope that Bluehost and especially Matt know how importend it is to keep the employees growing the same scale as the customers. Else i’m afraid, we all will have to search for a new home again in a few years. Doing webdesign and SEO since 14 years i start feeling like a nomade in the desert. And i’m getting to old for that sh..

    George

  21. Ilya says:

    Blue Host is so good you forget it exists. I love you guys. I dont know how I was so fortunate to first get connected but I simply rave about you. The price is right and the service is simply perfect. Until I started looking at this blog- I honestly thought maybe I was one of like 100 customers. I thought there is no way service can be this good, phone wait times this short and email responses so prompt unless I am one of a very few customers.

    You are the Jet Blue of web hosting. May you continue to be successful forever!

  22. Big Dog says:

    So, are you selling stock in this company yet? I might like to get in on that…..

  23. John O'Brien says:

    Gotta say – I have recommended bluehost to several people myself and am now working on a non-profit here in Hong Kong that deserves a far better customer service than it currently gets from an alternative host.

    I’m entirely self-taught – way too short on time for problems and way to short on cash (it’s a startup!) for an IT team. With some trepidation and two bad experiences undre my belt, I did a lot of net research and cross-research and ended up risking bluehost. It has been a very postive experience–and the range of features provided has stretched me, relatively safely. Last week, I found that a mail box allocated 50 megs wsa bouncing when only 26 megs full. Not good – and the explanation was kind of unsatisfying in the way technology does have a mind of its own, at times. However, the real live voice, at 1:00 a.m. their time, did take time to explain how that can happen – and while I had him (David?) on the line, I asked a few other questions and got thorough, knowlewdgeable and truly helpful responses. Just plain impressed. Matt – thanks. I’d like to learn more about how you manage your company to bring about a cohesive, solid customer response. All the best – say hi if passing through Hong Kong.

  24. Phil Vouers says:

    I have numerous sites on blue host and am very pleased with your service. I must sau that I get concerned when you are down but sometimes it is the nature of the beast and you seem to work out the problems fairly quickly. I came to blue host by accident from a very well know company that just lost its customer sevice. Customer serevice is probably THE most important reason I rate a company and although your outages have been more than the other company .. your service and recovery have been inpeccable.. Keep up the good work, spend a little more on security and keep us informed.. can’t ask more than that..

  25. Jason says:

    Bluehost, I have to say, you guys rule.
    Great and Timely customer service also, I am one of those word of mouth people, outta all the hosting companys I used you are the best.

    later- Jason

  26. Scott_inVA says:

    Regret I must agree with Brad. I (like other clients) received the DOS email notice and am almost willing to let that slide b/c the servers were under attack. The day before the DOS, the server was down for 55 minutes; in fact, hardly a day goes by I can’t upload to the site at least once. These outages typically are 8-12 minutes and I know they occur by my error logs and a cluttered Inbox with irate visitor’s mail.

    I migrated two different sites to Bluehost in 2005 based upon the recommendations of others. The domains are hosted on different servers: one fair, the other unreliable. My problem is the domain that frequently is down provides proprietary hurricane forecasting maps and data…content people pay for and rely upon.

    Matt, notwithstanding today’s DOS, I am hesitant to recommend Bluehost to others. When the hurricanes begin, my customers and I (your customer) need reliability.

    Scott

  27. Jobriga says:

    I agree with the comments on here – Bluehost is an amazing hosting service (and I plan to stay with them), but lately I have been experiencing temporary outages. These happen on multiple web sites I have hosted on Bluehost. I did call tech support and had them move the sites to a new server, but the outages are still happening.

    Any way to get a blog post on these? I’m not that upset, but these outages happen in the middle of the day and there doesn’t seem to be any information why.

  28. Admittedly, I’ve experienced downtime for a few hours once or twice. But when you come to think of the rest of the year that bluehost keeps my site running, AND the impeccable customer service I receive whenever I call them…it’s negligible. I am extremely happy with Bluehost and will continue to refer them to my friends and collegues.
    My best to Matt and the gang!
    J. Wolf Sanchez
    imwolf.com

  29. Jan R. says:

    Yah, I have an online friend who asked a while back who I host my site with and I told him BlueHost…. he joined for two years with you and it has gone well so far for him with your hosting… so word of mouth is great and you are listed in the searches… other advertsing is hardly needed at this point… maybe!

    Jan
    http://www.pionusparrot.com

  30. Chris says:

    I swear by bluehost. I have probably reffered over 200 people in the last year. I almost want to make it my new rule that if you want me to optimize your site you have to host it on bluehost.

    If you really care about your site and don’t want down time spend the extra and get a dedicated IP. The server I am on never goes down.

  31. Alexandre says:

    I call for service a few time and i got someone right away – no answering machine no wait – i was so surprice i tough i had the wrong number-
    this is what i call service

    I love you Guys !!!

  32. Duke says:

    To this point, BH has been my best bet! Perfect? No, but for most bang for the buck, and yes, reliable, with excellent CS! Thanks Matt! Down time is never pleasant, but I could write my own book about my nightmares with other hosts, believe me! Anyone old enough to remember FeaturePrice? I was one of those suckers! I lost all my domain names when they raped that company! Try explaining that one to customers that you design for! I recommend you often! I use your affiliate program, and thus far I have been very successful there also! I know I have sent you business! But I have because you guys have been the best I have experienced so far! I also appreciate that when you have problems, you respond as you have! Taking the time to inform us of the denial attacks doesn’t excuse my downtime, but it is another example of how you are willing to go the extra mile. About a year ago, my Server4you accounts were down for about 3 days because of a DOS attack . . . They never informed me that it was because of DOS. I learned it in a forum on hosts! So let me just say, Thanks for keeping us so informed of these issues, even though they might not be pleasant for you to do so!

  33. kate says:

    Had to throw in my two cents here. I’m in love with bluehost. I’m a technology recruiter, a geek, a brain, a former R&D help desk manager for a large pharmaceutical company and after two days of having switched my gaming clan to bluehost I am sold. First of all, when I called you guys and asked about support (having been support and run support, I’m the customer from hell) I kept saying “what? LIVE people? Like, I could call you and someone would answer?!? REALLY? Holy crap!”

    You guys have been very responsive. I got the note today about the DoS downtime…from the president, no less…yeah. I’m going to be telling a lot of people about you. Especially when I launch my online music business in a few months. I’ll do whatever I can to help. It’s nice to see people TRY.

    Kate
    http://www.kate-eryn.com

  34. G. C. says:

    I’m a big advocate of open source and use to develop and run some big name websites. Customer service is the key. Things in technology go wrong and that happens to everyone. How the company handles problems and customer needs is what separates them from their competitors.

    I found bluehost from researching open source hosting providers. I wanted to switch from Yahoo hosting because of all the fees and lack of control I felt I had on my website. Within the first week I had a problem and called bluehost tech support. What I couldn’t believe is I got a human being! The week I signed up happened to be the week they were upgrading PHP and there were a few config issues. They took care of me and handled it very well!

  35. Lynn says:

    Hi Matt,

    It is inevidable that we who dot com also dot blog.
    I am so new here I may be asking a redundant question.
    Do you have a logo radio button for blue host we can use on our blogs to link our affiliation registration to?
    Something like that would help me generate more business for you. My personal blog followers will also look at my web site. I believe those who dont already have a site would be stimulated by a blog of mine about Bluehost. As all the bloggers know, it is easy enough to use a jpeg, or other generated radio button to create the link. I would rather put on a proper Logo than a word link.

    As per what needs to be done about down time. My son is my web site administrator. He has used Bluehost for well over a year. He did alot of research before he signed up with a host. His feelings on the subject are that Bluehost has as many problems as other hosts. It is the nature of the business. With time each host will tackle their problems in a proactive matter to make the problem redundant. Alex explained to me the most recent troubles. I dont feel that any host could do better than what is being done under the circumstances.

  36. Marc says:

    When you provide an honest product… customers will follow. Thanks!

  37. Matt
    Regarding word of mouth
    This is true. I have already recommended 2 groups to use Bluehost (that I never mentioned to Bluehost) and they have set up Bluehost hosted websites and I continue to recommend Bluhost.
    Bob

  38. S.M. says:

    Great customer service always pays off. I have beed a Bluehost customer for little over 6 months and I feel that this is one of the smartest choices I have made regarding to my online presence.

    Keep up the good work!

  39. Patrick says:

    I’m scared to tell Bluehost they are doing a good job. Because just when I told my previous host, “good job”, things went down the drain. But so far, compared to Yahoo, Network Solutions, 1&1, and Dot5Hosting, you guys offer a hell of a lot more for the money. Your Customer Service Technical Support is Very Good! I never have to wait too long to get someone on the phone who is knowledgeable and can complete a proper sentence.

    I left Yahoo because they don’t accept .htpasswd files on their servers (don’t know why). Forget about getting a technical service rep on the phone at Yahoo. Network Solutions only offers 1 database for the package I signed up for, so I quickly cancelled it (didn’t realize this when I signed up). I signed for 1&1, but quickly cancelled them (can’t recall why, there was something that I didn’t like). Dot5Hosting had various problems on their servers with security and my php/mysql programs, so I dumped them. Then finally, I’m now trying Bluehost and so far so good.

    Before I signed up with Bluehost I typed into Google, “complaints about Host Company X”, and I must say, every single host had a few unhappy customers, so I couldn’t use that as a gage to pick a host. I just took a gamble and decided to go with Bluehost because of price. You sure get a lot for your money!

    But I’m still nervous to say “good job Bluehost”, because tomorrow I maybe pissed off if my site goes down!

  40. Market share is not the same as delivering shareholder value. Presumably there is a stage 2 in your development when you deal with profitability?

  41. Neal Castelo says:

    As a former developer turned designer that hires out Web back-end work (due to work load) I always recommend bluehost to my customers. The great thing is that it isn’t an empty recommendation simply given because I am a customer. I feel confident because I can show features and give my own testimonials or talk about other clients that have had good experiences on their own.

    Every time I tell someone and they sign up, they always have great things to say about how surprised they are of the great service that bluehost offers.

    Thank you for making my job just a bit easier because that is really the bottom line here.

  42. John Crowe says:

    I’ve been with BlueHost for a few months now and I’ve gotten 2 other people to switch to it. Now, 2 people may not be much, but considering they’ve just got personal pages, it’s pretty good. I love the support and staff. You guys keep up the great work!

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