Live Chat Finally Coming…

Well, I have resisted to the end! I have made up every excuse in the book to not implement live chat, but I have finally broken down and “mostly” implemented it. It should be 100% by the next Friday or sooner (Before July 7th 2006) . We will have sales chat, support chat, and when they are available “escalated level 2 and level 3″ chat support.

Why have I dragged my feet on live chat? We actually had it implemented the 1st day that Bluehost launched, but I quickly turned it off because it seemed to only have limited benefits and took three times longer to answer the question than just helping the customer over the phone.

Things have changed in the industry in the last 2-3 years. Live chat is expected in this industry, and we do have many thousands of international customers that don’t have the benefit of our toll free customer support. So, I guess I am saying that I was wrong to not have it up until this point. I will send out a site wide email later this week when it is all ready and the sales and support teams are trained on the system.

Now, we think of ourselves as a cutting edge hosting company so we will be “trying” to implement a Skype system into our phone system. IF (And this is a big IF) we can make it work then we will have Skype support for worldwide use in a month or two. I know this would help many customers worldwide that simply can’t afford to call us from their home country. We will even try and implement a “CLICK TO CALL” button that will automatically call us from your PC.

PLEASE remember this is a blog and everything I say here isn’t set in stone, but I do want you to know what we are working on in the future for our customers. Thanks again for all of you that keep us in business. My 6 and 8 year old wish to thank you for letting Dad (Me) leave for a week to take them to Alaska fishing. Yes, we did catch a lot of fish, and No you can’t have any :)

Thanks,

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

28 Responses to “Live Chat Finally Coming…”

  1. Anthony says:

    Excellent.
    This clearly will help some disadvantaged clients who relied on emails while swift but not as effective. Such as myself, as I am deaf and unable to use the telephone. (Well I could use the text phone but that is annoying and not portable to put next to the computer)

  2. Hi Matt,

    I’m an Australian customer and this will be most appreciated! Keep up the great work!

    Cheers,
    Jamie Tarling

  3. Minh Nguyen says:

    Woah SKYPE would rock. It would also cut down costs for your company too =D. Which would end up being the best of both worlds.

  4. Well done Matt, live chat is almost a neccessary feature these days with the ever growing international customer base, the use of Skype is also an excellent idea, and would be very useful for your international customers.

  5. Todd says:

    Hey Matt, welcome back. I hope you & the boys had fun in Alaska.

    This live chat stuff will be interesting. Hopefully it goes smooth for us. The clients have sure asked for it MANY times..

    See ya when we see ya.

    -TK

  6. chrys says:

    Thanks for the disclaimer. I am fortunate to be more than happy with what you already provided. Glad you are always thinking of ALL of us.

  7. arne says:

    Hi,

    i live in Germany and called BlueHost over Skype for free (I don’t have a SkypeOut account or something else what costs money). I don’t know if this is only free from Germany…

    However, I would appreciate a direct Skype integration because the voice quality was very bad…

  8. Keith Finley says:

    Our company communicates via Skype all day long. We all work out of our home offices. On our company blog,

    http://webpensive.com

    I’ve recently posted a few reasons why I enjoy working with BlueHost. Now I have another. Thanks!

  9. stardriver says:

    Live Chat is really the best and only way for logical and progressive assistance, mainly because both parties are thinking through a problem and working toward a logical solution. As they say, talk is cheap and no more so than over the telephone. Phone support people are generally somewhat arrogant and flippant in their assistance roles, whereas in a Live Chat situation there a give and take in trying to resolve a problem and reach the correct solution.

    So, thanks for finally installing Live Chat. Now, I for one, will know exactly where to go when I need help.

  10. Wes says:

    I think a live chat for support will be very important because that will definitely make your already good support even better.
    I had an issue this last week where my MySql played up and I was happy with the quick response I got.

  11. chrys says:

    To a busy man:

    I came to “Blue Host” because of a “peering” situation that effected “Ace Host” and kept me from being able to reach my site. Seems (remember you mentioning being down for a time – I thought I just needed to run checks). ANYWAY – this “E” came today:

    Cogent/Level 3: More Soundbytes, No Solutions
    Companies wage PR battle while customers wait

    (This was news posted a while ago, 2005-10-07 09:32:15 to be exact.)

    As mentioned Wednesday, Level3 decided to cutoff their peering relationship with Cogent, suggesting Cogent wasn’t carrying its share of the load and should be paying under a new agreement. Three days later and the mainstream press (CNN/Reuters) begins to notice there’s a gaping hole in the Internet. So far both companies seem more interested in stubbornness and soundbytes than solutions, while disrupted businesses sit and wait helplessly. The Boston Globe wonders how long before Uncle Sam gets involved.

    THE REST AND NOW – can’t get to any of my “stuff” – YET – I can get into the “Control Panel”?!?!?

  12. Great Idea!. Thoguh I have only been a bluehost customer for just under a year, having experienced many other hosting companies, BH has proven by far the best, most cost effective, most supportive and even emails get replied to in reasonably quick time. I am impressed.

    The only thing left to do now is offer a mini control panel for people like me who host several sites for clients of my own, offering them the ability to change email addresses, view their site stats etc would be a real advantage :-)

  13. DesigningDad says:

    Well, to date, I have called BH probably 50 times, mostly over Skype Out (free till the end of the year, darn cheap all the rest of the time) and have always encountered the friendliest, most helpful and knowledgable staff in the industry. I have used quite a few hosts in the past, and never found this level of support.
    Now, you have announced two more ways that I can get through, and both of which I am really comfortable with. Making me a happier customer every day Matt! Thanks Man.

    The Designing Dad

  14. Chris says:

    BH, you guys have always been fast and helpful when I’ve dialed the 1-800….chat is nice, but service is already good.

    Anyone know how us Canadians can take advnatage of the $50 Yahoo! credit??? No dice for me in Vancouver. Or at least give me a zip code – I only know 90210.

    BH is great….very happy.

    Any plans to add SCOOP sites installation to the Fantastico dashboard?

    Cheers,
    Chris

  15. Sebastya says:

    Great to hear!

    Thanks :)

  16. chanochan says:

    Congratulations! You are the best hosting company I’ve been working with. I am from Spain, and in the whole country there is not any hosting company that offer anything near your hosting plan, in price and in service. My website was down for around 20 min. a day. I contacted with the support department of my hosting company and they suggested me to get a dedicated server. That was completely unnaceptable!.

    Now my website works smoothly in your servers, the Cpanel is really great… I have my CRM and my four domains working at full speed without a glitch. And now live chat… I really cannot think of more value for my money. Keep the hard work, and you’ll have lots of clients like me (I am reccomending Bluehost to all the webmasters I know)…

    Regards, Gonzalo.

  17. Great Idea! If you offer some non-english(eg. Chinese) service. It will more better.

  18. Customer says:

    Hi Matt,

    I have been a customer at Bluehost for a while now (working on 2 or three years) and I’ve referred two other customers. Anyone who asks me about my provider typically gets rave reviews.

    That said, I have to share what I find to be the worst support response I’ve ever gotten in my life with you because it came from one of your staff.

    I emailed asking about when Drupal might be added back to Fantastico. I use the site to teach and will be adding another drupal site to my domain this fall. I asked the same question about a month ago and was told that it was down because of problems with Drupal 7.0. Since there have been two updates since that time, I emailed again to see if there have been any changes. My specific email to the support desk, in response to their last contact with me re: Drupal 7.0 being removed from Fantastico was:

    On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 13:32:06 -0600, (Email Removed) wrote:

    I was just wanting to follow up on this and see if Drupal 7.2 was up to par. Please let me know if/when yall may be planning on returning it to fantastico.

    Thanks,

    (Name Removed
    0
    (Client IP REMOVED)

    The response I received was:

    You’ll see it in Fantastico when it becomes available again.

    Mike

    Bluehost.com
    Support Team
    support@bluehost.com

    So I asked if/when Drupal might be returned to Fantastico. The response I got was it will be in Fantastico when it becomes available again. I find this response to be problematic for a few reasons. First, it doesn’t tell me if yall really plan on returning Drupal to Fantastico. It tells me, essentially, if it becomes available, I will see it in Fantastico. Second, I also asked for a timeline of sorts by including “when” in my request. I am not given any type of timeline. Third, and most important from my perspective, the response is downright condescending and rude. Reading that response, I feel like a kid being scolded for asking my parents for something.

    I do take responsibility for not writing a more full question and having higher expectations for the answer to my question, but even with my brief question, I find the response unacceptable. I will be submitting my question again, as well as this complaint, to the Customer Service/Support desk. However, I did want to place this complaint elsewhere, as I do not believe my issue will be escalated past support if I only complain to support.

    Thanks.

  19. Marco says:

    Very Nice! Called up Bluehost Customer Service on the phone. The staff was really good! Hope the response time from the Live Chat is fast too. Very good customer service!
    I think you’re one of the best if not the best hosting company with reasonably cheap prices and great hosting features! Keep up the great work!

    Regards,
    Marco

  20. komack says:

    OK, so I can’t figure out where to reply to “Beard or No Beard…”

    I say, “Definitely, BEARD!” But not a wimpy one that barely covers. Also, not a scraggly one that has no manners. For just the right density of beardness, see mine at: http://www.famfin.com/

    Beardily yours,

    Roy

  21. cardoso says:

    Live chat rocks.

    Hope it’s a small step towards my lifelong dream: A multilingual support / interface Bluehost.

    Hosting costs are ridiculously (sp?) high in Brazil, with some hosts charge a LOT for excess bandwidth, but the allowed bandwidth sometimes is as low as 100MB/month.

    A friend of mine (www.garotasemfio.com.br) is now with bluehost, and loving it. She was charged by her old local hosting service $500 for excess bandwith in may. A “insane” 4GB excess.

    Hire a few portuguese-speaking guys, Matt. You’ll be surprised with the number of new accounts.

  22. Saba says:

    Hi,
    I got to say adding skype to your already GREAT product is a very good idea! It would make calling from Israel free and easy for me!

    Can’t Wait,
    Saba

  23. Dontan says:

    Hey Matt, welcome back.
    Bluehost is Great!

  24. Inversarium says:

    Yep.. Looking forward to it Matt. Especially since it was mentioned in the newsletter and it still isn’t up :P. Infact I needed to use it right now for a query but couldn’t and as usual shot an email.

    A much awaited feature. Keep up the good werk.

  25. Craig Welch says:

    I’ve read a few good write-ups, and checked your site with a view to moving two domains there. I had two questions, so I used live chat. I’m in Australia, so I was calling in the middle of the night.

    The response was immediate, and helpful.

    I’m sold!


    Craig

  26. 1. So what are the lessons for marketing if you are still with me, and have not already got most of them, here they are in business speak;2. Set goals and targets that are realistic, and based on some valid foundation or research.
    3. Have simple procedures set up, to make it easy to operate and for your customers to conduct business with you.
    4. Speak in your prospects language, about what they want its a bit like the fish bait, unlikely that strawberries and cream will catch many mackerel

  27. Wang Cheng says:

    Live chat is useful for us, your Engineers solved our many probled.

  28. Blue host is a respected host, and the fact you have a live chat implemented shows your commitment for support. We would like to publish your live chat success story on our website since you have so many customers who love it! Please email me for an interview.

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