Backup Service is about Responsiveness
By Cloud Direct • 05 Aug 2009
What does a customer really want?
As many new companies appear in the online backup service industry every year, the ability to choose between them becomes more and more difficult for the customer. On the face of it, they all look pretty similar each promising only the ‘best’ technology available. How does a customer ever make a decision? Normally, in situations like this, people look for key swaying factors that will ultimately force a decision for them. In an industry as seemingly generic as online backup this is invariably going to be price. Why pay more with X when I can get the same from Y?
There is no denying it, price probably plays one of the biggest roles in influencing decision making. Whether it’s a house, a car or a TV, we all look for the best economic return. But sometimes, price can cloud over other aspects that are arguably more important than any other in the business world.
And that’s quality.
But what do we mean by the term quality, especially in something as intangible as the online backup industry? There are only so many promises you can make with the use of a brand logo, aesthetically pleasing website and corporate BS. Really it comes down to just two key factors, reliability and responsiveness. Reliability is obviously a case of, ‘will this product actually do what it says on the tin?’. If you’re going to pay for something you expect it to work, especially when you need it most. But occasionally, as is the law of the universe, things don’t always quite go to plan. It can be in any aspect of your policy. Perhaps your firewall is blocking the backups, or you’ve forgotten your encryption key and password . And that’s when perhaps the most fundamental differentiator of all within the service industry becomes vital – responsiveness.
In fact, you can add all the bells and whistles to a service that you want but the bottom line is if something where to go wrong the first thing you need is help. Many online backup companies offer a cheap and cheerful service. ‘ONLY 1p per Gigabyte storage offer’ etc etc, it’s low price for a reason – lack of infrastructure. But you can be rest assured, there will be nothing cheap and cheerful about the customer on the end of the phone when their accounts not backing up correctly and no one is available to help them. When data loss occurs, panic is best dealt with by action.
Likewise, many companies that offer cheap online backup in the UK aren’t even based in the UK. Data storage companies in the US have their call centres located in the US. If that companies office is on Western time, the earliest you can probably get hold of them is at 5pm that day, if it’s Eastern time, maybe 2pm. That wouldn’t be a problem, unless your data loss occurred at 8.30am in the morning and you have to wait all day from the Americans to wake up. Even then, think of the phone bill you’ll rack up.
Obviously if you choose an online backup solution that allows you to manage your backups and restores yourself then you might say that you don’t need that level of support. But why do you backup in the first place? To expect the unexpected. Nobody can guarantee with 100% confidence that there won’t be problems, it’s the very fundamentals of backup in practice. What matters is how you respond to those situations. Reliability is the cake, but responsiveness is the icing.
So ask the question next time you converse with a ‘cheap and cheerful’ backup provider, ‘what level of support can I expect?’. When data loss occurs business recovery is key because it becomes a reflection on your own service quality to your own customers. Looking at it from a karma perspective, what you put in, you get back. If you only put in pennies, if might not just be your data that you don’t get back.
Share this post