The best of the worst…

I recently had a meeting with our healthcare representative for our health insurance policy at work. We talked about the skyrocketing prices, the sometimes horrific service, and the general bad state of healthcare as a whole. He then went on to say how in his opinion IHC (Our healthcare company) was so much better than everyone else in the state of Utah. I then asked him a simple question which he didn’t seem willing to answer. The question was, “They may be better than everyone else in Utah, but are they doing a good job irrespective of how they compare to others?”. He looked at me like that was the silliest question I could possibly ask.

It didn’t even occur to this person that IHC may be terrible from the customers perspective. He seemed only interested in polls and numbers that showed that IHC was better than their competitors. Who cares if IHC is better than their competitors except their board of directors. I care that MY experience was good, and up to that point my experience had been anything but good. Companies should look at themselves and see what broken processes they have and then fix them. THey must focus on their relationship with their customer and the rest will take care of itself.

I am not saying Bluehost doesn’t have areas that don’t need review. We certainly aren’t 100% effecient on support or technical areas. The one thing that we DO execute well on is looking at our company from our customers perspective and trying to fix problems that keep recurring for our user base. I simply don’t care what our competitors are doing in those areas unless they have a great idea that we can use to solve our own problems. I don’t care if our phone hold time is averaging 3 minutes and everyone else is averaging 30 minutes. I care that 3 minutes is 2.5 minutes longer than I want and I need to fix it.

The goal should be to be the best, and not just better than others, or the best of the worst. I find that many companies just don’t have the end game in sight when making decisions. We don’t always succeed and we are constantly improving, but please know that we measure our success by what our customers say not how much better we are doing than our competitors.

Thanks,
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

17 Responses to “The best of the worst…”

  1. Joel says:

    So far, so good. I contacted support this evening and asked to have my accounts upgraded to the latest storage and bandwidth offerings. In less than 2 1/2 hours, they took care of the upgrade — even though it was a simple, non-important matter. Great job.

  2. Bobert says:

    “I don’t care if our phone hold time is averaging 3 minutes and everyone else is averaging 30 minutes. I care that 3 minutes is 2.5 minutes longer than I want and I need to fix it.”

    listen up guys, this is the talk of a genius. LOL lovely two sentences here :-/

    sounds to me that you do [and should] care. what you should also care about is if we are to wait 3 minutes [more like 30 minutes but…] those minutes shouldn’t be spent listening to the SAME 2 LAME SONGS!!!! PLEASE, GET A NEW CD for your “on-hold music” …

  3. anonymous says:

    If Bluehost could provide atmail (atmail.com) as the webmail app, that would help. It’s the best webmail application I have seen – and I have seen MANY.

  4. Ron Sell says:

    I love reading your perspective. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  5. Wayne says:

    I just want to relate that you are doing something right. Yesterday my website performance was extremely slow with time-outs and unavailability.

    I called your customer service and my call was answered after one ring. I wish I had noted the name of your service representative. He was pollite, took my information, then put me on hold and actually went to look at the server in person. He came back to report that there was a tech working on reconnecting it and that all should be normal shortly. Within a half hour my site was back to normal.

    I truly appreciate that someone would get up from their desk and go and investigate. It’s downright amazing that customer service is in the same building and not on another continent….

    This is up there with house calls by physicians. Keep up the good work..

  6. Jeb Thurmond says:

    Hi Matt,
    I have been looking at bluehost for my companies website and came across your post…I love the theme and I’ll tell you why. When my 3rd son was born at home, we had no idea that he had Down Syndrome. This revelation came as a shock to us, even though, I now realize how truly blessed we are to have him in our lives.

    At the time, though, I was really struggling to figure out what this meant to me…to have a son with Down Syndrome. Someone said to me, “You know, it could have been a lot worse.” and my reaction was so quick, that it took me by surprise,and I still don’t even know where it came from. I said, “No, Kelly ‘s presence in my life HAS to be OK with me, because it’s OK with me, NOT because someone else has a worse situation.”

    It’s the same as you said the the healthcare company rep. Your life, business and integrity have to be the best that they can be on their own merits, not compared to some one or something else.

    Thanks for the thought.
    With Gratitude,
    jeb

  7. Connor says:

    A CEO that cares about customers and satisfaction instead of salary, stock, charts and graphs… Hear, hear! Keep up the good work.

  8. soul says:

    The Canadian universal health care system is overburdened. Not enough doctors to adequately meet the needs of Canadians.

    Similarly, your servers are overburdened. To wit, they are unstable.

    I’d rather have a 30 minute wait time for tech support if I knew I needed them once a year, then a 3 minute wait time twice a week.

    Hope things pick up… or at least return to previous service levels.

  9. Sergei says:

    I like reading your blog, Matt, and I hope you really mean what you say. As one of your customers, I do have a simple question: what do you think should be done to make things right with your customers if one of your servers is down for 12 hours? I realize things happen in this business, hard drives fail, etc., but from our point of view 12 hours down is 12 hours lost of interaction with our customers… What do you think would be the right thing to do here?

  10. MikeS says:

    Matt,

    I served in the corporate world for several years and struggled with some of the same issues. I now serve in the local church and your post got me to thinking about questions we definitely need to ask ourselves about how we are meeting the needs of our community (our clients) and are we still trying to be like another church, rather than being the best church WE are supposed to be.

    Thanks for the insight,
    Mike

  11. Andre says:

    Speaking about being the best, could I suggest a way of making Bluehost even better. There are two industry leading open source projects that unfortunately is not part of bluehost’s fantastico yet. They are ‘Alfresco’ and ‘OpenLaszlo’. Could you add them and make your customers’ experience even better.

    Thanks

  12. Wang Cheng says:

    I like to readyour blog.

  13. Simon says:

    Just wish that fime words were put into action —

    Why suddenly after nearly 3 years does the email Bluehost auto created when I signed up get turned off with no warning and with no thought or care as to the consequence or cost in both terms of time and money and resources to me and my customers of such an action?

  14. GaryS says:

    Matt,

    I appreciate your attitude. I’ve had business hosting experiences with 2 very well known companies and a couple of lesser knowns for over 5 years. I’ve been using Bluehost for personal hosting for over 2 years.

    My experience has been revealing. Bluehost’s support puts all the others I’ve dealt with to shame. Can it be better? Probably, because it’s all about people and people can usually improve. But, if you just keep it at its current level (which is a major challenge, itself), you’ll still be head and shoulders above the rest.

    The hosting itself has been excellent. So good, in fact, that I’ve started moving business sites to Bluehost. I’ve read about issues others have reported, and I’ve experienced a few myself, but not nearly to the extent as what I’ve had with the well known companies. And, with Bluehost, when I call about an issue, I get treated like a human being! I happen to like that.

    Thanks for caring about your company and your customers. It will take you and Bluehost far.

  15. Oxxy says:

    Speaking about being the best, could I suggest a way of making Bluehost even better. There are two industry leading open source projects that unfortunately is not part of bluehost’s fantastico yet. They are ‘Alfresco’ and ‘OpenLaszlo’. Could you add them and make your customers’ experience even better. http://www.bilgisizm.com

  16. Juan Jimenez says:

    Funny… I teach ITIL for a living. I call it “how to herd cats.” It’s about aligning It to the business needs, and having IT work solely to meet the customer’s satisfaction. There’s only one mention of the competition in IT Service Management, and that’s in Financial Management, when you need to ensure that your own costs are in line with industry costs for equivalent services.

  17. Ron says:

    Refreshing. That’s how I would rate my experience with bluehost so far.
    That’s not to say there is no room for improvement mind you, but your tech support staff is responsive, and you personally just seem to get it. That is in itself a rareity these days.

    How would I improve? Well for me personally I need to use your services for development, and potentially sales. That means I want trac and subversion. Yet finding information on how to get them running in your environment is not so easy. Granted I just started looking, but still. Does anyone actually look at what the customer would like to see? A nice little electronic suggestion or wish list box would be cool.

    I subscribed with you upon the suggestion of a good friend that had nothing but good to say about you. I expect that my needs will be solved in the near future. So in advance, thanks, and keep up the good work. Most smaller startups need sites like this to grow with and eventually move to a dedicated server if all goes well. I look forward to a long and happy relationship here.

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