The other day I was reading through the normal 500-1000 emails that I get every day (no joke), and came across one that I have never seen the likes of before.
This email came from one of my team members, and he said he had a review of GlowHost, but he did not know where or how to post it.
When I heard this, I immediately assumed that a customer had taken the time to review GlowHost, and I suggested to this team member that he contact this customer to thank them for taking the time to review us, and to also ask the customer if they wouldn’t mind posting their review on an appropriate site where members of the general public could read it. You see, our customers often send in some sort of testimonial at our helpdesk or via email, but that means only our team can see them. Sure, that makes us warm and fuzzy inside, but….
Reviews out on the Internet where the general public can see them helps to bring us new customers, so this seemed like the normal approach for dealing with the situation. The question I was asking myself was, “He already knows what to do with customer reviews, so why he was asking me?”
I asked him the same question and he said, “Matt, this is a review of GlowHost, by me,” and “it’s kind of a review, but kind of not.” Needless to say, it took me by surprise because I have never had a review of the company from a staff member’s perspective, and I have to say, just the thought of reading it made me a little nervous…
The team member I am referring to is one of our long-time crew chiefs at GlowHost, Andrew Gladio. His official title is “Customer Care Team Leader,” but the truth about Andrew, like all of our awesome crew, is he wears many hats. Otherthan just making sure our customers are getting the best service possible, we often find him in the billing department, doing some systems administrator duties, and generally just helping out where things need it.
Since he and I now had the same question about “Where do we put this thing?” we agreed that the GlowHost Blog was a good place, and I’d like to share with you what he wrote.
“I would like to share with you the experience I have had with GlowHost. This writing is not just another review, because I am not a customer, but part of GlowHost team. You might think that my boss just told me to write something nice, but no, that was my idea.
One problem with hosting is that many companies publish their reviews, advertise their services on the Internet and thus become quite popular, even if their service stinks. At the same time, even if you know everything about the services offered by a company and were lucky enough to have communicated with the senior staff members, you still won’t know what is really going on backstage.
My intention to write this article came to mind because for me, behind the scenes at GlowHost is awesome. Also, I have worked at other hosting companies, and many friends of mine work in other hosting companies, and I can ensure you, that GlowHost’s attitude towards business is worth your attention, and this attitude is something which I have never seen any place else.
The first thing that impressed me after I came to work at GlowHost from another hosting company, was the high level of automation that GlowHost has. It helps us to get rid of many boring routine tasks which can kill one’s interest in work and can transform you into a mindless robot sitting in front of your PC and doing the same things all the time.
The other thing I noticed was GlowHost’s Knowledge Base. It has a lot of instructions for customers and we have a huge section for the staff as well (you can’t see this area). Adding new articles for internal and external use is of high priority for us. We are constantly updating the Knowledge Base when new issues arise. If it is something we can fix on our side, and not an adjustment that needs to be made on your side, we will apply it across all servers quickly (in some cases, the guys write programs that will automate process if needed) that way, the particular issue would not require a Knowledge Base article at all.
What I mean by that is, we don’t sit here and wait for helpdesk tickets to come in for the same issue over and over like other places I have worked at. We find the resolution and patch as efficiently as possible, hopefully before too many customers notice any problems. Patching is very common in hosting because servers are constantly receiving system and security updates, which sometimes break things that used to work before. We spend a good part of each day fine-tuning our systems, but the automation we have in place makes it possible to push updates to all of our systems at the same time, instead of one at a time, which could take days or weeks with the number of servers that we control.
Also, if you have ever submitted a trouble ticket to GlowHost, you already know that our response time is usually less than 15-20 minutes. This is very challenging and not so easy for many staff to keep up with. If we reply in 15 minutes, that means that we need to read the case, try to fix it, write a detailed (important!) reply and probably leave notes for our colleagues so they know what the status of a particular incident is. If tickets come simultaneously (which they usually do), now we have to divide the time period we have into 2, 3, 4. Being able to make these rapid response times would be impossible without a well-organized internal communication system for our staff and mutual help from our vendors.
Another main point I’d like to mention is that we never stop. I have been working here for almost 4 years and I can ensure you that things have changed a lot. Our CEO likes innovations, more so even, he knows how to organize and implement new systems to streamline our daily processes. An important fact is that he accepts our ideas and is always interested in our opinion.
Everyone here take part in the life of GlowHost. It is not like in other companies, where several marketing people tell you what to do, and don’t want to hear what you think. I saw these types of things happen at my former employers and “double facepalm” is my only reaction for that…
Now, back to innovations, you should know that we have customized everything in cPanel, added free useful services, like CloudFlare, Incapsula, and SoftAculous auto-installer. We also offer a service called Sucuri which helps customers who are experiencing problems with their web site’s security. At the same time we scan all servers from the root level and include user account scanning for free to protect users from being infected. Most hosting companies will tell you that “What is in your account, is your responsibility,” and, “we only take care of the server itself.” We take the extra steps because we care about our customer’s accounts and want them to be operating as well as possible at all times. Besides, the few guys we have at GlowHost who have Information Security master’s degrees make sure the entire GlowHost crew are keeping a careful eye on things.
Another thing I find interesting is that we have recently introduced cloud solutions that are being optimized and improved all the time. Our cloud stuff is really cool and I could write a whole article on this itself. We are also searching for and working with new partners in different hosting-related fields, and I can ensure you that we will add more new awesome and unique features that you will not find anywhere else, very soon…
Another important thing is the organization of the working process at GlowHost. I am not going to tell you secrets, just some facts. For example, we never face a lack of disk space on our shared servers. Trust me, this is a typical problem at other companies, but not at GlowHost. We have strict limits of number of accounts being hosted on each server, and these limits work to keep common shared hosting problems at bay. The same thing can be said about overloads. Sure, sometimes our servers occasionally suffer from high load, but those issues are usually fixed quickly, because we find the accounts responsible and get them buttoned up. We help the affected account to find broken or hacked scripts and can help point them in the right direction in regards to optimizing or upgrading their software. Finally, another important note is that there is no server at GlowHost that should just suffer from load because it has too many customers on it. It is not possible here because we don’t try to save money by putting as many customers as possible onto a shared server, which leads to compromising service levels. Even on the lowest-end hosting packages that we offer, we still maintain account limits. The guys here at GlowHost really do care and are not afraid to do some extra work if needed, or stay after hours to help out with some critical issues that need extra special attention.
Reading this you could think that giving out secrets of success is a little bit foolish, but this knowledge is not enough. You will need the main ingredient – a strong team. I can assure you that getting the one we have is no easy task, taking much time and effort to compile. Our primary training takes no less than 6 months to complete, and the training really never ends because our systems and policies are always evolving along with the Internet. Even if you find smart, responsible people, the job is still not complete. Creating conditions for highly productive work is also a big problem that has been successfully solved by GlowHost’s leadership. Everyone here is 100% devoted to his work, and it is why I am proud to be a part of this great company.”
Wow, thanks Andrew! I think I speak for the rest of the crew and our customers that we are all very happy to have you as part of the team, and for me personally, I could not do this without you. Your contributions to our customers, as well as what you do on the back-end for GlowHost surely do not go unnoticed. It’s great to have you on the team.
Please post any comments or questions you have below!