In an industry where the top ten hosting companies control about 21% of the market, competition is fierce to gain clients and keep an edge. There are hundreds of hosting companies, so if you want to prevent customer churn, you have to have a plan. AccuWebHosting has been able to grow their business in the last 16 years to the point of success, so it is a good study in ways to reduce churn and improve customer relations.
Talking to Rahul Vaghasia, Founder of AccuWebHosting
AccuWebHosting was founded by Rahul Vaghasia in 2002.
He was inspired to start a top-notch Windows hosting package because he was looking for something similar for his own website and not having much luck finding something that fit his needs. Vaghasia took some time out of his busy schedule to answer our probing questions about how he found success with his company and took it from startup to what it is today.
I soon became frustrated by not being able to find a good match for my website requirements and realized there was a big need for an online web host that specialized in Windows hosting, and that lined up with client needs and budgets.Rahul Vaghasia, Founder of AccuWebHosting
It wasn’t long before Vaghasia created AccuWebHosting.com. He shared, “Initially, I wanted to simply create a website that offered the best of Windows hosting solutions for disk space, bandwidth, user-friendly control panels, powerful mail servers and MSSQL databases.”
Vaghasia credits much of the longevity of his company and his success to his team. He points out that his team is not only talented, but dedicated and good at working together. “I can credit a lot of our success from the beginning on to listening to the needs of our customers and remaining focused on creating the right solutions for their website needs.”
Overcoming Challenges to Find Success
Like any business, AccuWebHosting has faced many challenges from its early days before growing into the success it is today with over 55,000 web hosting accounts, with more than 15,000 of those clients utilizing VPS hosting. Most of their growth has been in the last ten years.
One challenge that stands out is the HELM migration to Website Panel, a process that involved a large number of Windows Server 2003 clients.
Vaghasia points out that doing a manual migration would have been a tedious, costly, and an inconvenient option for them, so AccuWebHosting needed to come up with a solution for making this process automated. He shared how dedicated the team was to making it happen. “It took months of work, but our in-house programming experts came up with a fully functional, automated migration tool.”
Not only did their technical team meticulously research and test each potential incompatibility for the upgrade, but they then worked one-on-one to communicate the pertinent information to each customer. “This process was completed within a time-line that allowed our customers sufficient lead-time to update their code and to address any issues regarding incompatibility or obsolete functions, like those that might be caused by the discontinuation of FrontPage Server Extensions and ASP.Net 1.1 applications.”
How Their Challenges Led to Their Greatest Strength
As often happens, figuring out a way to overcome this challenge eventually led to some of AccuWebHosting's success as a hosting company. One of the things they did was to create a dedicated support team to assist customers specifically with the migration process.
After months of prep work, the automated script tool was implemented and used to migrate all of the web content, databases, FTP accounts, and email accounts, including control panel passwords. The special technical team then took over the job of completing verification to ensure the migration was successfully completed and offer any necessary trouble-shooting with clients.
Today, Vaghasia points to the fact that communication and coordination between teams is a major strength of the company. “We have great employees that are able to remain optimistic and enthusiastic even when faced with challenges. We work well together and it shows in our track record of growth and success.”
Client responsiveness is also one key to how they've built their customer base, as is analyzing current customer needs, and developing new solutions for anticipated requirements. “Our research and development team is constantly developing new, creative technology solutions to better serve customers.”
Features for Businesses of All Sizes
Even though the company started with a focused on shared Windows hosting, today it has grown to provide many different types of hosting packages so as to meet the needs of a wide variety of customers as well as the opportunity for businesses to scale their websites as they see growth.
We have grown with our customers’ needs and requirements in many cases; adding partnerships like the Handy Networks family, along the way.
Vaghasia adds that many of their offerings are a direct result of customer requests and the company’s efforts to uncover the latest technologies to service current and future needs. “Our clients may work on Windows and Linux based projects simultaneously, for example, so we offer both – if a customer asks for a solution, we are going to build or find it for them,” he said.
He also shared that they recently launched MEAN.JS hosting (MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node). These modules will increase the options their customers want and need, as well as ensure easy upgrading.
Advice for Other Startups
I always like to take a minute to pick the brain of interviewees and find out what advice they'd like to offer to our readers. Vaglasia didn't disappoint, offering some solid advice for owners of startups.
Stop wasting your management time working on SEO! Focus instead on your customers’ needs and company profitability goals; improving service and internal efficiencies.
Vaglasia shared what personally for him at AccuWebHosting. He stressed that patience and persistence are important for a startup. “Small businesses that are new or wanting to grow should keep their time and efforts directed to improving their products and services by listening to what customers want and need,” he shared.
He also advised that businesses should constantly analyze the trends and study customer inquiries to figure out what should drive your business. “Use your website to respond to the needs and requirements of customers, rather than focusing on SEO. That is what we are doing.”
What I Learned
I enjoyed interviewing Rahul Vaghasia and learning more about AccuWebHosting and their growth and long-term success.
Here are the key things I learned:
- If you see a need that no one is fulfilling, figure out a way to turn it into a business.
- Create an amazing team of experts who love your business as much as you do.
- The customer is key to everything. Customer relations are more important even than SEO.
- Change with the times. As customers' needs change, your company should be prepared to grow with that.
- Let your customers drive your business. Keep an eye on what they are asking for and figure out how to provide it.