2018 Featured Expert Memset: Retooling to Deliver Secure and Well-Supported Hosting Experiences for More Engaged Customers

TL; DR: With 98% of customers willing to recommend the company’s hosting services to others, Memset perhaps didn’t need to restructure its support and account management teams. The company did, anyway, and our 2018 Featured Expert for customer service continues to look for new ways to streamline and improve user experiences. Co-Founder Nick Craig-Wood joined Head of Security Tom Owen to discuss how the UK-based host adapted to 2017 challenges and forecast what’s in store for 2018.

Given his company’s personal approach to support, Co-Founder Nick Crag-Wood recently sat down with one of the organizations counting on Memset for secure and performant web hosting services.

Instead of discussing how to fine-tune the organization’s security controls or eke out faster page load times, Nick spent the meeting helping the organizations with technology challenges outside of Memset’s realm.

The departure didn’t bother Nick, who said employees at all levels pitch in to help with personal customer support. Memset, part of our series of featured experts examining current web hosting trends, spent much of 2017 reorganizing already strong support and account management teams to improve how the UK host interacts with clients.

“It feels nice to give customers access to expertise that we can give them and build relationships at little to no cost to the company,” he said. “We want to help customers, generally, not just in a way that generates revenue for us directly.”



Memset Improves Customer Support With an Internal Reorganization

Memset, which promises stellar 99.99% uptime and responses to tickets within two hours, includes 30 minutes of free support every month, with a premium managed support package available for extra assistance.

Pairing strong support with modern infrastructure has long been a strength for Memset, according to Head of Security and Business Services Tom Owen, who told us how the company looked internally to restructure the processes and teams behind product development, customer support, and account management.

Nick Craig-Wood (left) and Tom Owen (right) helped restructure Memset’s approach to customer support.

“Companies often have an account manager who sells things,” he said. “We’ve very much separated our accounts team from our sales team. It’s nice to have account managers that worry about how happy the customers are, as opposed to commissions.”

The company discovered the teams required different structures and programs to be the most effective and have the most impact. More than 2,000 businesses, ranging from massive fintech enterprises to one-person eCommerce operations, rely on Memset’s services and expertise. According to Nick, the restructuring helps employees tailor services and support to each customer’s expectations and needs.

“Now, as a company, we’ve got the right people in the right place,” he said. “They’ve got the right training, so they can have the right conversations.”

Balancing Cost, In-House Tools, and Partnering With 3rd-Party Services

As the company prepared for 2018, Nick and the Memset team decided to start moving away from the mindset of developing internal tools and systems. Instead, employes are focused on building and maintaining the company’s highly secure and reliable cloud infrastructure. Memset delivers and operates additional services, such as block storage and business continuity systems. The company’s Cross Site Cluster launched in September.

By focusing on core services, Nick said the company has begun developing partnerships with other vendors who specialize in tools and service that will be of interest to Memset customers, creating a trustworthy one-stop-shop for a fraction of the cost.

“We’ve got very talented developers, and we’re a very technology-focused organization, but we also know what things we can do to solve our customers’ problems,” he said. “We were increasingly finding that self-building the right tools and solutions was not sustainably scalable.”

Memset now prefers to partner with industry leaders and specialists, opting to devote developers’ time integrating the services into customer experiences.

“You can always build something more expensive and better, but we are always trying to figure out that point where customers start to view it as anything less than a benefit to their organization,” he said. “There’s always a cost-versus-performance point where a service or product or customer experience is viewed as a burden.”

GDPR and PCI Regulations Increase Customers’ Awareness of Security

With Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation set to take effect in May, coupled with the Network and Information Security Directive, Tom said Memset was able to set broad targets for new features and internal support processes.

“You can sort of predict where the pain points are going to be,” he said, adding the pending regulatory changes have brought security and compliance to the forefront of many business decisions.

Data protection regulations have made web security a more accessible topic for hosting customers.

Businesses have long dealt with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which Tom called a “constantly evolving bundle of worries and woes.” While PCI compliance can sometimes be overlooked elsewhere in the industry, the enforcement and penalties for violating the GDPR have caught more site owners’ attention.

“It’s easier for CEOs, CTOs, and COOs to bring these related issues to the top board level,” he said. “We’re having a lot more conversations about business processes as opposed to just, ‘You should get this product.’ We’re seeing customers understand their risks as their minds are focused by these regulations.”

Ideally, Tom envisions online security as a business asset, rather than a liability. As the baseline for acceptable data protection gets higher, less stringent companies and hosting providers won’t be able to compete.

“An organization that doesn’t manage to showcase a highly trustworthy and reliable posture toward the GDPR is pretty soon going to start finding itself not able to play in the B2B world,” he said. “I think a lot of our customers are starting to see a shift in their ability to successfully pitch security improvements as business enablers or things you can attach revenue to.”

Coming Up: OpenStack Growth and Frictionless Customer Experiences

In addition to the improvements made in the company’s customer support and account management areas, Tom said Memset employees spent a lot of time revamping the organization’s Cloud VPS and Cloud IAAS infrastructure.

Particularly, Nick said he was excited about the backend changes the company made with OpenStack, which powers the IaaS architecture.

“We’ve been running that for a few years now, but it really started to take off in 2017,” he said. “I see some really strong growth there ahead for us.”

Looking forward to the challenge of seamlessly integrating third-party products into the Memset service stack in 2018, Nick half-joked about looking forward to attending several partners’ Christmas parties.

“I’d like to celebrate with our partners who’ve got really amazing products,” he said. “We can toast a successful relationship and making lots of customers extremely happy.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Bernheim

Laura Bernheim has spent more than 12 years crafting engaging and award-winning articles that share the passion behind organizations' products, people, and innovations. As a Managing Editor for HostingAdvice, she combines a reputation for producing quality content with rich technical expertise to show experienced developers how to capitalize on emerging technologies and find better ways to work with established platforms. A professional journalist, Laura has contributed to The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, the Sun Sentinel, and the world's top hosting providers. In addition to conducting interviews with industry leaders, Laura drives internal writing and design teams to deliver stellar, timely content that clearly explains even the most difficult concepts.