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Why Great Customer Service is Worth the Price

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The cheapest option isn't necessarily the most affordable in terms of time, efficiency, and effort.

Our website recently underwent a makeover, and the new look reflects the data integration services that we offer as well as the passion of our people. The actual website launch process demonstrated that sometimes the most affordable solution can end up costing your organization more in the long run. 

The Temporarily Affordable Option Doesn’t Always Mean It’s Economical 

Kleinschmidt has a stellar record for uptime and reliability, partly due to our strict cybersecurity and SOC-2 compliance. As a result, it was decided to host our marketing website on a third-party host to keep our on-premises customer data separate from the marketing site. Our setup was a little unique and more complicated, but hey…we’re smart, right? We can do this! 

We did extensive research and found a hosting provider that met all our requirements as well as extremely competitive pricing—we will call them Budget Host. Little did we know we were about to begin a unique journey. 

What’s Happening?! 

When loaded our site to Budget Host, we noticed our beautiful new site kept crashing throwing HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 500 Internal Server Error codes. Queue two months of looking for the problem.  

Who’s the Culprit? 

Given that the 500 errors indicated a server issue, we went straight to Budget Host. Though we were on their highest-tier support plan, now that they had us under contract, their support team consistently referred us to generic documents and charged additional fees when we asked for help. This put a lot of stress on our internal staff as we took their guidance and tried to work through it ourselves. 

Budget Host encouraged us to chase new culprits – and after more than 5 live chats, several long phone calls attempting to get live help, nickel-and-dime charges for hopeful cures, and hours spent reading support documentation, we tried a different approach. We had to admit that we are experts in EDI/API business messaging, and maybe Budget Host was right that it was on our end; so we brought in an outside consultant who has expertise with the website content software, the type of setup we used, and environmental challenges we faced to determine the issue.  

The outside consultant recommended that we pay for an additional add-on tool, but still couldn’t verify that this would solve the problem.

It was time to stop trying to make things work with Budget Host and turn to a partner who would help us resolve the problem and give us peace of mind.  

Peace of Mind – Priceless  

The story has a happy ending. We moved to a hosting service – WP Engine –  that provides white glove support from a live person who takes responsibility for helping us get our site up and running and will be there monitoring things from their end and owning any solutions to issues that arise as long as we are with them. No hidden charges.  

What We Learned – Practice What We Preach 

We learned three important lessons from this painful exercise: 

      1. It takes significant time, effort, and internal resources to support something that isn’t your core competency. Even if you are a technical specialist in one area, tracking down an issue on something you’re unfamiliar with can derail efficiency and the ability to conduct simple business operations. 
      2. Circumventing excellent customer service in favor of competitive pricing can lead to paying more in the long run.  

    Wow! That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Kleinschmidt’s mission is, “to provide radically personal service and technology innovation in a world where one size doesn’t fit all.” When you call Kleinschmidt, you connect with a real person who takes ownership of your request, 24 x 7 x 365. We learned to hold our own vendors to the standard we provide, and that our focus on delivering peace of mind is why clients have trusted us with their core business messaging through EDI, API and myriad data transformation puzzles. 

    Side note: After two months of chasing possible culprits, our own staff member found that a graphic plug-in was updating and causing the site to crash. The update was something that Budget Host was doing to “help us out,” though they kept telling us they weren’t changing anything behind the scenes.