Welcome to the Fasthosts ProActive Podcast: Spill the IT. Each episode, we'll sit down with some of the amazing ProActive team and chat through their experiences of the ups and downs of IT infrastructure management in small businesses. There's always plenty to chat about.

Our CEO, Simon Yeoman talks about the customer care and onboarding process businesses can expect when they choose Fasthosts ProActive. From initial discovery to onboarding and beyond, we get to know our customers’ unique needs and challenges, so we can design a solution and service to support them every step of the way.

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Episode transcript:

Charlotte (00:06):

So welcome to the latest podcast episode for Fasthosts. And here today we are with Simon, the CEO of Fasthosts, just to have a chat about the Fasthosts approach to customer care and why that's so important to Fasthosts. So Simon, it would be great if you could talk us through what your aim is really for that Fasthosts customer care. What's it trying to achieve?

Simon (00:34):

So for our ProActive offering, we're very keen. We provide a positive customer experience and it's an enablement experience that allows our customers to succeed in their online digital presence. And we understand that we often need to tailor that, but we are gearing that around allowing our customers to be successful. And that's the key guiding principle to our customer culture for ProActive. And that's built on many years of providing customer care in our core business where we've developed close relationships with many customers and we've got a good understanding of what customers need to be able to succeed.

Charlotte (01:18):

Yeah. And I think what's interesting is how that's different to the hyperscalers. Not that the hyperscalers are terrible, but it's just a different approach, isn't it? I think you have because your core customer is that SMB.

Simon (01:37):

Yeah. And also because we've got a history, we've been in business for 25 years and we provide direct customer support. And that might be online support, that might be telephone support, it might be chat support, it might be a dedicated agent or an account manager. We've got that history and we provide our support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we've got that established. Some of the hyperscalers, they're less accessible and there might be some online support, but it's very difficult for customers, in particular medium and smaller type businesses, to be able to access and leverage the level of support that we're providing.


I think for Fasthosts ProActive, we invest very heavily in providing a positive customer experience and we like to invest quite heavily at the beginning of that process in that consultation and discovery phase of a relationship that we have with a new customer. It's very important that for us to support our customers and allow them to be successful, we get to understand their business, their challenges, what's unique about their business. And you wouldn't get that level of discovery and closeness from a hyperscaler.

Charlotte (03:01):

Yeah, because I guess they go for a more one-size-fits-all approach.

Simon (03:05):

Absolutely. And that key discovery phase is critically important to us. And we involve our ProActive account team, but we also involve our architecture team and our solution delivery team in that phase that the Fasthosts ProActive team really get to know the customer, what's unique about them and what their challenges are and how we can help them.

Charlotte (03:32):

So I guess that customer service aspect is going to be really important to small to medium-sized businesses. And I know we've touched on before, a big reason for that is because they often don't have IT experts within their business or if they do, they may only have one or two. Which may not be enough if they're having to migrate a lot of applications and all the elements that go along with that. So what advice would you give to SMEs who are going down that path? What should be important to them?

Simon (04:05):

So for Fasthosts ProActive, we have a couple groups of customers that we approach and have close relationships with. And it's probably slightly different for those different customer demographics. For customers, businesses looking to move to a cloud or move to a hybrid cloud and may be a little bit unfamiliar with it, that we understand that some of these businesses don't necessarily have the skills and therefore we have a knowledge and education role to play just as much as a solution design and delivery role. And a lot of it is around education and understanding and sharing our service.


We invest heavily in customer success and we think about the processes so that, not just that we're providing a service to our customers, but we help them fully understand it so they can fully utilise and get the best maximum value from our service. And when we deliver a solution, we go through a consultation and design. And once it's delivered, we spend a lot of time in what we describe as a hypercare process where there's regular contact between our customer success team, who is led by Claire and she's very passionate about it. And we transition from a hypercare environment to where there's probably more regular contact on a weekly basis. And then as we get more familiar and our customers get more familiar with the service, we move into more of a regular review process.


But that's slightly different to more established customers that already have strong technical skills. They just want us to take the burden for them so they can get on with growing their business, developing their latest solutions, developing their latest software, where have a better understanding. And it's probably less education and more we can help because we are experts in this area. We've got 25 years of experience, we've managed hosting platforms, we've managed enterprise-based platforms. And we can provide that sort of more high-end expertise and lend it to people or customers that are more clear on what they need and just need us to take the burden and the pain out of the exercise for them.

Charlotte (06:27):

Yeah. And I would imagine security is a big aspect of that, isn't it? Because there's so many specialist security skills that are needed nowadays.

Simon (06:36):

Yes. And we run a variety of different platforms. There might be Linux-based platforms, there might be Microsoft-based platforms and all sorts of flavours in between. And we have to stay abreast of the latest security threats, but also best practises in that area. And we are able to provide that expertise and access to that expertise via our Fasthosts ProActive offering.

Charlotte (07:00):

Yeah. And it's interesting, isn't it? Because I think a lot of businesses gradually gravitate towards the hyperscalers because they're so visible, aren't they, as brands? And it's all very easy to sign up. Which I think is probably easy while everything's ticking along quite nicely, but perhaps when things go wrong-

Simon (07:22):

Yeah. And this is the type of feedback that we get from our ProActive customers where they saw hyperscalers as a route to cloud adoption, but once they're with a hyperscaler, it was very difficult for many of our customers that have moved to us to access the right level of support or the right level of expertise. Whereas, we have strong heritage and history in providing that direct to our customers and we're able to fully leverage that and allow our customers to benefit from that expertise. We have a 24/7 customer support function and we have engineers monitoring, analysing, improving our Fasthosts ProActive platforms on behalf of customers, often without our customers even knowing about it. We'll tell them about it after as we're doing it, et cetera, but that's the whole offering. We want to proactively monitor, analyse and improve our customer's environment.

Charlotte (08:22):

Yeah. And I guess you're in a great place to do that because for 25 years you've been doing exactly that for yourself?

Simon (08:28):

We have been migrating, updating, innovating many cloud environments over the years.

Charlotte (08:36):

Yeah, I imagine you've seen it all.

Simon (08:37):

Yes, we have.

Charlotte (08:39):

Great. Well thanks, Simon. That was really interesting and appreciate your time.

Simon (08:43):

Thank you very much.

Charlotte (08:43):


Orlaith Palmer

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