Every good business company has its backend team. A Backend team is that who works as a solution for the clients of that company. Backend team performs its work behind scenes. If any client needs some deep information about policy of that company, backend team is there to provide that information. Backend team is used to solve the customerís problems and enquiries without disturbing the daily routine of other employees. Backend not only helps in maintaining customersí satisfaction but also plays a vital role in improving companyís growth. So you can say that backend is the spinal cord of a particular company.
If we talk about the backend of a web hosting company, there are some points that should be understood like- Billing system, Order processing, Support system, accounting and record keeping. I will explain them in brief.
Here we are talking about the billing system; we should observe what mode of payment you accept. Almost all providers plan this before they start the business of web host. Some providers accept papal, some accept credit cards; some accept checks or money orders by mail. Payments offered by mail may cause problems to you. The best of all is to accept the annual mode of payments.
The best payment system in my view is pay pal or checks; these are also called third party payment processor. Through this third party payment processor you can also accept credit cards, debit cards etc. through this processor you can use automatic recurring of bills, which is definitely a most used tool by providers. With this third party payment processor you will get rid of billing to your customer monthly or quarterly, it will automatically provide bill to your customers on the due date, according to the terms and conditions they agreed for hosting their site. This process can be a great time saving machine for you.
If you are not using automatic recurring payment processor, there are some other software that can provide automatic billing process. One such software specially designed for web hosting provider is Modern Bill. Some other are WHMautopilot, Lpanel and many more. These above software are more reliable because they have auto setup scripts and different built in features used for clients to provide them good services regarding bill.
This part of backend team is divided into two main categories: first Manual Processing and second Automated Processing.
Now manual processing is a quite easy process. Under this processing your customer places his order and pays according to your payment mode. And as soon as you get the order and payment, you proceed to web host manager and then send your customer a welcome note after opening his account. There are some other ways to collect information by setting up your order form. The most important information for you is the domain name of your customer. If you are using pay pal payment mode processor for getting order and payment, it has a form tool through which you can collect two form fields with each other. Suppose you want customerís domain name and user name along with their order, this is possible when you set up your order form and as soon as you receive confirmation from pay pal, this information will get included into your order form.
Another method you can use is- form mail script, using with a two part order form. Under this form first fills the information form and clicks ďsubmitĒ and email you the form. As soon as they click submit they again get mail script of your payment mode.
One more method through which you can collect the data or information and payment processing is the shopping cart application. The merit of manual order processing is that it checks all the information and order as your customer types it. So the possibility of fraud is reduced.
If you are a reseller web host and you need a smooth process for your customer to place his order and payment, the Automated order processor will be best for you as it saves a lot of time. Through this processor you can boost up your online business. This program collects all the information from the customer and explains them their online payment and then transfers this to your web server and set up the customers account and then forward his a welcome note. It is also best, if your customer places the order when you are out of station or can not check the mail, this program will work for you and set up the customers account. This processor also involves the activity like suspending accounts, checks server, for billing of your customer. But you have to at least review each and every order before it has been set up. Through this you can check the fraud done by your customer if is doing. But through this automated order processor, the possibility of doing fraud by your customer increases as well and the order may be written in abusive language and you can not detect them unless you review the order before they are set up.
If you are a developed web host you can have a support system according to your customer base with your server administration task. But if you need another support management than self support system. The support system you can use is that you can hire a support tech for you who work on behalf of you to help to resolve your customerís queries. But many of you do not want to spend that huge amount of money as service payment.
One more affordable support system for you may be an out source companyís technical support who are specialized in providing support system to web host. But if you select an overseas outsource company can provide you good solutions according to cost but you can also face some problems, so before selecting check all the pros and cons. These out Source Company charge you include per ticket, per customer, per server, per representative hired and also flat fee per month.
The other support system solutions is the customers help each other and get help by more experienced moderators and administrators. You as a host can offer free hosting to those moderators for their help in running the support forum.
Again if you are a developed web host, you already have arranged your support system. But if you are a new provider you can choose one more option that is live chat, but you should always be available for your customers query. But if you are not present to answer your customers query, I think you lack professionalism. But if you are present it is a very low cost good tool that can solve your customerís problem.
Do you need to run a live chat? The thing you have to do is only to post your IM screen name to any of the renowned IM platform such as AIM, MSN or yahoo. Another method you can apply is a use of web based chat client that is of free download or you can have a subscription basis, from a chat provider.
Before applying any of the above explained method I will suggest you to opt an online helpdesk through which you can help to resolve your customer problems. You can also purchase them with some more powerful added features. The help desks are Kayako and Perl desk. You can pay the rent monthly as well as yearly for aforesaid subscription. I suggested these helpdesks because they support the feature of email piping. When ever you go for a client management program, check that it should have functional helpdesk inbuilt and also email piping. It helps you when you email to any of your client it automatically opens a helpdesk and as you answer the query it sends the reply to your client, client then again reply to you via email or helpdesk provided to them.
Accounting and recordkeeping:
If you want that your business should work systematic, you should prefer accounting and recordkeeping system, and it helps your business to work in a proper way. Nevertheless if you are using some other automated system like WHMautopilot, it will also help you in maintaining your financial records.
Now you think it is useless to prefer system like accounting and record keeping. Not at all, you should, in my view, keep an offline record of your clients and of your financial details. And it is very easy if you use a accounting system like Quicken, or by using a simple and best method of Excel spreadsheet. You should follow minimum information about your customer: Name of your customer, domain name, billing due date, subscription ID number, and price of the item, size of plan and also email address of your customer. With this you should also keep the record of your monthly financial dealing in a general ledger with all your gain and loss. Ledger is as easy as to balance your checkbook. Ledger is nothing but a list of all the income and expenses of a month. Your income is what you receive from your site owner and your expenses are like your reseller account, merchant fees, support cost, advertisement cost etc. Add up all the expenses and income which ever increases, you may calculate your profit and loss of that month
With the help of accounting system you can file the income tax according to your ledger, if you are a sole proprietor, but before filling the form consult your income tax lawyer. The best method to do a simple business is that you should remain a sole proprietor with no employees. But if you need to do so you have to take help on contract basis but before doing that check all pros and cons of a contractor and employees and also take advice from a developed web hosting provider.