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  • A HostGator Harlem Shake

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by
    We had another blog post that we were planning on posting today, however late last night there was something in the air here at the HostGator Houston office.  There was an undeniable rhythm permeating throughout the building.  Deciding that we should seize the moment, we did the only reasonable thing that we could possibly do: we made a Harlem Shake video. It's worth noting that this was created very much in a "flash mob" style; there was no premeditation and no one in the video knew that they were going to be in any video when they arrived at work last night.  All props were gathered from throughout the building and from employees' cars out in the parking lot. We sent out a broadcast via out internal IM system, stating a time and place and requesting the presence of anyone within the building who was available to participate.  And this is what happened: http://youtu.be/I-B8oQtlLdQ
  • Memoirs of a Gator, part II

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 by
    Please see Part I, right here.  As our story continues, I am now on the chat floor speaking primarily on the phone with Customers, though also taking random chats as well between calls.  Starting to get into the swing of things, but still not completely at ease.  I've managed to not break anything or anger anyone, so I figure I'm doing well enough. Many of our Customers are familiar with the feedback@hostgator.com email address, which is directly read by Management and is intended for use any time anyone has any complaints or praise about anything at all related to their HostGator account or the related support they've received.  Thus far, I have assisted a few Customers who took the time to email in to let my Supervisor know about the quality of my work.  It's always nice to have nice things said about you by strangers. Having never provided technical support to the general public in any capacity before, those first few days were interesting and full of constant learning.  I wanted to do the best I could and maintain HostGator's stellar level of support, but at the same time I lacked the actual experience which is what ultimately leads to complete confidence.  Time would solve this circumstance, but time takes time.  I can honestly say that working on the chat floor was fast-paced and exciting and there was truly never a dull moment. I decided to query some veteran Gators on their initial impressions from when they were brand new Hatchlings, fresh out of training.  The consensus seems to be pretty similar to my own experience.  Presenting, in alphabetical order, some initial impressions from my fellow Gators: Cody (presently a Linux Admin): "When I first started as a Chat Tech, I was kind of overwhelmed by the huge amount of information, but very excited by the huge learning opportunity in front of me.  I did all I could every day,  studied the KnowledgeBase, and life got easier and easier each day." Dominic (presently a Sales Representative): "It felt like my first time swimming.  I was scared, splashing around trying to quickly find answers to questions I just learned.  As I was flailing wildly, I held on to whomever was there: Quality Assurance, Level 2 Chat Agents, Supervisors... whoever didn't mind that I had a deathgrip on their arm" Kristi (presently a Retention Specialist): "I was so nervous.  Fortunately the resources, tools and overall assistance provided allowed me to quickly grow to where I became much more confident and comfortable working directly with the Customers." Russell (presently a Linux Admin): "I felt overwhelmed at first, but the more I worked with customers, the more knowledgeable I became and the easier and more enjoyable the job became to me." Zach (presently a Linux Admin): "It was like playing that lightening reaction game: each time you start a new chat it's panic until the Customer describes the problem... and then you realize that yes, you can actually fix this." It seems that almost all of us start out with a certain degree of cold feet, but ultimately we have all risen to other positions within the company and made room for dozens and dozens of new Hatchlings that will follow in our paths. Speaking of new Hatchlings, this is a picture of our Austin Training room on the day this post was written. Behold, the future generation of HostGator, likely presently feeling that initial nervousness of which we're speaking: atx_training_room   It should truly go without saying that most of our interactions with our Customers are overwhelmingly pleasant, but  anyone providing front-line support will always have an interesting or unusual interaction.  One of the Customers that sticks out for me was an individual who initially took a shine to me and began requesting me each time time they called.  This particular Customer wound up calling up to discuss a myriad of topics, including their recent doctor appointments and on-going health issues.  Another call was to request my assistance in repairing a hardware issue on their home computer.  We have a very soft "scope of support" here at HostGator, but troubleshooting home PCs (or doctor appointment visits) is simply not a service we can really provide, with our apologies. Before too long, I would be promoted to a position where I no longer actively accepted telephone calls, thus was the end of my interactions with that particular Customer... at least as of this writing, but one never knows.  As for the position to which I was promoted, we will certainly come to that as we further speak on this topic. Once again, if you have any questions at all about our front-line Agents, or anything at all that has been discussed up to this point, please leave your question in the comments section and I'll be happy to elaborate.
  • A HostGator Holiday 2012

    Monday, December 24, 2012 by
    As the year comes to a close, not only should we all reflect upon the successes and any failures of the year in order to grow from the lessons contained in each, we should also set aside some time to simply celebrate.  Celebration has manifested in multiple forms here at HostGator this year, and we've had a lot to celebrate.  It had been a truly great year, full of very positive change and we're all looking forward to what the new year will bring. We had our annual holiday party recently, but before we get into those pictures I wanted to share with you the tree that was set up in one of our Houston buildings last week: tree01
    This tree clearly has some atypical decorations.  I mean, that is a jack-o-lantern in there, right?  Let's start at the top and work our way down: tree03 Every tree needs a topper; some sort of symbol or designation that sets the tone for the season and for the tree itself.  Apparently for a HostGator tree, that symbol is Darth Malgus, of "Star Wars: The Old Republic" fame.  It's starting to look like this tree was decorated by, well, nerds.  There's the aforementioned jack-o-lantern again.  Also, we see an Ethernet cable and a network switch; further supporting this nerd theory.  And is that a telephone receiver?  Let's take a further look: tree02 Yes, that is indeed a telephone receiver.  We also now see a couple of HostGator lanyards.  No tree would be complete without Snappy, but is that also a more realistic gator there on the left?  Yes, it does appear so.  Below, we'll find a rubik's cube and a keyboard: tree04 And what nerdy tree would be complete without a couple of O'Reilly books underneath; always give the gift of learning: tree05 Now that you've seen this amazing tree, we'll move right along to the company party.  The Houston party was held at Dave & Busters, a Texas-based restaurant and entertainment complex. holiday01 The series of pictures will best tell the tale of the company party; we ate, we drank, we played games.  It went something like this: holiday02 holiday03 holiday04 holiday05 holiday06It's safe to say that a good time was had by all.  We came together as a company to celebrate our successes and share some time together.  Thank you, from the bottom of our collective heart, for allowing us to have such a great year and we look forward to serving you for many, many years to come.  Have a safe and happy holiday and new year from all of your friends here at HostGator!
  • Happy 10th Birthday, Snappy!

    Monday, October 22, 2012 by
    HostGator.com was registered on October 22nd, 2002; Ten years ago today.  A lot has happened in that time, but we have remained true to the initial vision for the company throughout. It is with great pride and a strong sense of achievement that we acknowledge this anniversary. Customer Service remains king here at HostGator.  It is the foundation upon which the entire company has been built.  We have had our growing pains, and learned the inherent lessons therein, but we have never wavered from that initial desire to provide outstanding Customer Service. As we leave our single-digit years behind and walk confidently into our double-digits, we are stronger and more ready to take on the future than ever before.  We thank every single one of you who have allowed us to serve you over the years, and we welcome everyone to continue walking with us on this amazing journey. Do you follow us on Twitter and Facebook? If so, you could win free hosting or even one of our infamous and coveted plush Snappys!  We will be doing random give-aways all day today in celebration of our anniversary.  Like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter for your chance to win!  In fact, leaving a comment on this very blog post could potentially be worthwhile as well, but be sure to use a valid email address. And without further ado: Happy Birthday, Snappy!