New research reveals that web hosting customers place security and quality customer service over cheaper prices when it comes to selecting a hosting provider.
The independent report, commissioned by Peer 1 Hosting, found that as much as 80% of IT decision makers in the US and UK would “not compromise on security, even if it meant lower prices.” whilst 90% stated that they would not sacrifice good customer service for lower cost hosting.
The research comes in the midst of an ongoing price war between hosting companies, as both big names and fledgling operations alike attempt to lure in customers with rock-bottom rates and discount deals.
Customer service counts
Yet the Peer 1 report suggests that despite the ongoing battles to offer cheap web hosting, price is often not a primary factor in choosing a web host, whilst in some cases, cost cutting from providers can even “confuse” and “annoy” customers.
Only 23% of those questioned -including 250 IT professionals from the UK and 300 from the United States- said that a lower price from a rival host would make them “somewhat” or “highly” likely to switch hosts, whilst at least 43% suggested that they would be “unlikely” or even “extremely” unlikely to do so.
In a press release accompanying the study, Peer 1 Hosting’s Executive Vice PResident & Managing Director, Sheila Bouman discussed the evolving role of web hosting to businesses, and suggested that the expectations of those who source this for their companies are changing right along side it.
Ms. Bouman also pointed out that, whilst budget web hosting does still have its place, It professionals would not be prepared to lose out on crucial areas like speed and security just for a better rate.
What does this mean for hosting companies?
Despite evidence that 60% of those polled in the UK, and 50% of those in the US find discount hosting deals are ‘not to be trusted,’ it’s very unlikely that leading names like GoDaddy, iPage or Bluehost will suddenly shift to a higher pricing model.
After all, that’s only going to serve to annoy existing companies and in many ways be a step backwards, particularly for those customers who do need a low cost hosting option.
Yet that doesn’t mean our favourite firms should brush aside Peer 1’s report, especially when you consider that 20% of those interviewed said that cheaper hosting is “Great. It offers better value.” There is a lot to be gained from the information it provides, particularly when it comes to what customers really want.
Along with the other statistics already mentioned, the Peer 1 web hosting research suggests that over 50% of customers also highly value the speed of their websites, and would not be prepared to go for a cheaper option it it meant slower loading times.
Speed, Service and Security
Add that to what we’ve already learned about customer service and security being a top priority, and it’s easy to suggest that companies should really be focusing on these key areas to win over new customers.
Also in the company’s press statement,:Peer 1′s Product Vice President, Toby Owen suggested that these concerns were even more prevalent in age of heightened cyberthreats and an online crime, meaning that, though price does still play a factor for those on a tight budget, businesses are more aware of the need for first class security for both themselves and their customers.
The same can also be said for loading speeds. Though businesses do run a tighter budget requiring low cost hosting, if this means slower speeds which ultimately drive customers away, it’s essentially a false economy. Businesses need customers, and those customers, in turn, need fast, reliable websites they can trust.