Customer Support: It’s been a while since I post my last entry. There has been quite a significant improvement in our service levels now, I can proudly say that. From hundreds of tickets queues a day, we are down to below 30 ticket queues a day now. Two thumbs up for our management team! The same thing with Live Chat service, the waiting time and service level has improved significantly.

I’d like to say thanks for all the customers who had been giving us feedback and encouragement on our improvement. Your positive feedbacks really lift up the spirits of our entire team! Thanks!

I found out about one interesting online service in the last couple of weeks. It’s called Prosper. I have to say, it’s a brilliant idea. Through prosper, people can get loans from other ordinary people. So rather than having your loan from banks or other financial institution, you can present your case to actual people.

I believe every person has a divine gift, given enough chance, encouragement, and faith, I truly believe every person has a very good potential to become successful. Through prosper, other people can invest on other people’s dreams, make them come true. We would like to be a part of that as well.

Host Department is the only web host that is actually helping its customer to actually realize their dreams, through Prosper. We just launch the program a few weeks now, and one customer is going to get his $22,000 USD worth of loan to expand his tanning salon business. Which is great and I believe he would become successful.

You can see the listing this gentleman has at https://www.prosper.com/lend/listing.aspx?listingID=118775 and it’s almost fully funded!

The advantage of getting the loan through Host Department group is that we will be endorsing our customers to earn a bit more of credibility, plus we would love to invest into our own customer’s dreams and passions! Yes, when our customers are listing their loan request at Prosper, we will probably the first people who would put our money down on the loan.

I truly think the idea is a great idea, I myself will be regularly checking our prosper group listing to endorse and invest into our customers dreams.

Back to hosting, we are in the process of consolidating our data center into one facility and network provider; this will ensure faster recovery operations and overall service speed. Additionally we will be enforcing our network security by upgrading our firewall and network security appliances to the latest technology available to date.

Stay tune for further update and God bless!

Jimmy R Tanzil

I came from a technical background, was a programmer, then become interested in unix operating systems, before I know it I have started my own small web hosting company. As time passed by, I learned that my “hobby” alone is far from sufficient to provide “services” to “customers”. Then I started to setup a small office, hired some of my own friends from college and co-workers when I was a programmer to help me in customer service and support. It worked pretty well, we were able to service our little customer base.

As time pass by, even that is not sufficient. Things gets much more serious, it’s more than a hobby and “fun” now, it’s business, and people’s businesses is also “on the line”, they count on our services to provide really good “corporate” services. Then I started to assemble our team of “management” which over the years has evolved quite significantly. I did not immediately hired some “top notch hot shots management people”, but it started from people I know, people of “good integrity”, who are my friends. We “were” all lack of experience in management, but the way it came out now, they are all became a really good high quality managers and leaders. Just amazing.

Working with “people” if I might say is 100 times harder than working with “machines”. That goes internally – working with our own team, and externally – working with customers. You can not “predict” people; they’re just “people” – created in the image of God – Himself. Oops I’m starting to get deep now haha. Back to the topic. So, when it comes to working with people it takes a lot of factor if you want to us together to “flourish”. We have to be able to “get to them”. So we can “click”. What are their concerns, what things they value most, and so many factor. When we can really relate to them, understand how they are feeling and simply be able to put our self in their shoes, and then people will be able to appreciate you and actually be able to work together with a team. It’s a very complex and delicate situation when we are in the people’s business or in other words customer service business. We have to be able to work both internally with our entire team, and externally with the customers it self.

We have already started to implement so many things to improve our customer service level. As I said above, it is not easy, because what I want is “excellence”, not just average. We have begun compiling classes or courses for our entire team to enroll; it’s like back in college. Our team is required to enroll every class available and have to pass the various exams which we compile ourselves. Starting from the basic subjects such as how to interact with various customers attitudes to how to solve or troubleshoot complex server issues. The very main point is, whatever the customer issues are, our staff has to be able to “know in their head”, what they have to do to fix the issue. Even if the operator does not have access to fix it on the spot, but at least he/she knows who exactly can fix it on the spot. So there will be only one time escalation within the team, and when it got escalated, it will get escalated to the right person, and that person has to be able to fix the issue right on the spot.

That’s just one factor, we have so many other things going on, which I can not lay it out here, it’ll become a book if I do Okay, it is an on-going effort, but I can assure you Host Department is not all about “machines”, we are all about people now. Behind the name Host Department are so many people which over the period of time – which I hope by this year, we will be a people of integrity and totally professional. What I simply want to achieve is whenever “we” say something, you can count on it that we will deliver.

This will be implemented into the hearts of our entire team – “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes,’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” – Matthew 5:37. When our staff say “yes” but it is not being done, our customers have the right to report this directly to his/her supervisor (you will have access to this), and immediately this staff will get a formal written warning. If he/she gets three warnings, the fourth one will be a letter of termination from our management. That’s how serious we are in implementing and improving our customer service. Without you our customers, we simply do not exist.

When we have achieved total satisfaction in our customer service deliverance, and can put a big smile to it, we are going to the next level. That is to provide even more superb customer service levels for customers who needs it, business critical customers. We will provide an option for business critical customers to “purchase” a new level of customer support. With this support level, customers will not be in a queue when they are chatting, submitting tickets, or calling. They will be put on a special line so their queue time will not exceed more than 1 minute. But the down side is they have to buy this kind of service level, because we can not simply provide this kind of service level to our entire customer base with the price we have now. The price for the support is not determined yet, but it “may” even exceed the price of the hosting plan itself. But we’re still calculating what the reasonable price is.

Exciting news for our resellers, we will be opening a system where our entire team will be able to service our reseller’s end customers directly. Reseller’s customers will not know that they are being serviced by us, they will see that they are being serviced by the reseller company. It will be totally branded by the reseller’s company. Now of course, this won’t be suitable for all resellers. If you are a reseller and only have 2 customers at the moment, it does not even make sense to purchase this, yes resellers have to purchase the “support”. It will be a “flat per month rate – per customer”. We are thinking of $1/Month per number of account resellers have under their account. So, for example if a reseller has 50 accounts, and they want to opt in to this system, where we totally support their end customers, this reseller will get another billing of $50/Month – that is $1/Month for each account under the main reseller. These way bigger resellers can focus on marketing their business and growth, while we focus on providing support to their end customers.

Of course we can launch the two type of paid support when we are 1000% confident that we won’t be overwhelmed and we can surely deliver them. If we have even 1% of hesitation, I will not launch it just yet.

In the long run – now this is exciting! When we get the hang of it, my “dream” which I hopefully accomplish not so long from now, that we will support multiple languages to our customer service support line. So, non English speaker can feel comfortable in contacting us, knowing that we will work with them in their native language!

That’s the update for now – thanks for dropping by!

-Jimmy R Tanzil

There is no other way to express it, we are simply growing too fast. I have decided to pull out most of our aggressive marketing campaigns. The core value I set for this company is purely “customer satisfaction“. Growing fast is good, everybody wants growth, but one must also be prepared for it, right? Our growth in this past several months are so overwhelming that our recruitment and training for new hires/staff can not keep up with the growth. Customer queues are getting longer, service level are not as I expected anymore, it’s not actually a good sight. So the decision has been made. I am pulling the plug on all the funds we spend for aggressive marketing until we can get enough manpower to sustain and deliver excellent customer service back on the line. That being said, I would like to also apologize to our customers if you recently received a service level that is below your expectation. Hopefully by pulling the plug on aggressive marketing, our team will not be too overwhelmed by having to service both new and existing customers, because servicing new customers takes much more time than existing ones, simply because they don’t know their way around yet. I hope to restore excellent level of service very soon as I expect a huge drop on new customers coming in starting today. We are preparing many new staff to handle both existing and new customers in the future, please bare with these new guys if they somehow takes longer to service you than our senior staffs. Thanks again for choosing Host Department! I’ll make sure we all do our best to always have your favor upon our services. Have a blessed day! -Jimmy R Tanzil

I started the company as both a passion and a hobby, back while I was still working as a programmer in 1999. When you love what you do, time passed by really quick without you noticing it. Before I realize it, there are so much things going on now within the company.

Now we have quite many departments which handles domain names, shared hosting, reseller hosting, ecommerce hosting, billing, fraud, abuse, research & development, sales, marketing, business development, human resources, and of course our entire line of customer service division (tech support, system administrators, call centers, account executives, even our own customer liaison which make sure our customers are taken care of properly). To think of it, we’ve gone a pretty long way from where I started. From literally a one man show to what it is has become now.

Oh almost forgot our free web hosting services which are also growing very rapidly (freewebservices.net) and we also have a team who is maintaining it full time. Now, my plan is to even grow what we have now. This year, we have so many plan, we will be launching our new website soon, along with our new line of dedicated server product line.

Within the plans we have is to constantly improve the level of service we provide to our entire customer base. My ultimate goal is to eventually make every single customer to be serviced personally and for us to always exceed the expectation of our customers. Fortunately, we have so many good people here within the management, which will help tremendously to make this goal met. Not to mention that we have a very promising CEO which I hired back in 2006. With the leadership of all these great people, I am sure we will always be able to met our goals, whatever we may set it to be.

Some exciting things to come, Host Department will be branching in Europe, Australia, and Canada. We will start branching in an English speaking market in 2007. Then my plan is to expand further more to the Asian market in 2008, to China, Japan, Korea, India, and some countries in South East Asia. This will be so exciting that we will then be able to service our world-wide customers in multiple languages. We will first start with a text based support in multiple languages which will then grow to a call center based support.

My plan is to always start slowly and grow naturally, we won’t be spending multi million dollars capital to break into the market above, but with what I have planned, I am sure we will gradually break into the market above and will gradually but surely climb up to the top.

For all existing Host Department customers, partners, and affiliates, thanks for choosing and working together with us, as you will see much more wonders that we will bring into the company.

Oh also, I am about to start an internet ministry, as I feel that God has put this thing so strong in my heart that I have no choice than to follow it.

I will post an update on this blog when the ministry has started, it’s not to make money, I won’t be asking for any kind of “donation” for people to receive what I offer. The ministry will be endorsed 100% by Host Department. I hope you will be one of the many people that will be blessed by this ministry.

Thanks for dropping by, have a blessed life and don’t forget God!

– Jimmy R Tanzil