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Interview with Phillip, Support Manager at Porkbun!

I moved my domains over to Porkbun a while ago.  Excited to read this!  -raindog308


Porkbun

Oink! Porkbun is great! Way beyond great! Unbelievably great! People will think I’m crazy, head over heels in love with Porkbun. And that’s right! 🤩

After using several other domain registrars since forever, I finally tried Porkbun. Wow! What a difference! If you have a support question, you just email Porkbun support, and they get back to you with the answer. Plus maybe a joke or two! And they’re always polite, no matter how dumb the support request is.

For example, there was that time when my 2FA hardware key managed to change its password all by itself. And that time when Porkbun fixed my slightly borked domain transfer. And another time just recently when Porkbun support fixed my Certbot Let’s Encrypt certificate request that had gone awry. Yet another time there was a payment failure, and Porkbun quickly fixed the problem so that I could pay. Payments that don’t work can be a huge inconvenience, but not at Porkbun. I truly can say that, in my experience, Porkbun always is helpful, and, again in my experience, Porkbun always has the right answer!

An additional very important factor here on the Low End is that Porkbun’s prices are the lowest of any of the registrars I’ve tried. To all my friends here, if you asked me about a registrar, I would reply, “Go with Porkbun! Period! Don’t even think of any other registrar!”

Following my most recent excellent experience with Porkbun support, I asked Phillip, Porkbun’s Support Manager, if he would consent to an interview here at Low End Box. Happily, Phillip said, “Yes.” It’s a joy for me to introduce Phillip and Porkbun to everyone here who might not yet know them.

Hi Phillip! Congratulations to you and to the Porkbun team for doing such a wonderful job! How does your team consistently answer support requests in such a helpful, friendly way?

Hi Tom! Thanks for hosting this interview. When I started at Porkbun in 2018, we were a small support team of three answering 30 – 40 emails daily, with about 170,000 domains under management. As the number of domains under management has increased (we recently surpassed 1 million) we have been fortunate to grow our team to keep up with volume and have also added live chat and expanded support hours. We now answer an average of 300 requests per day with a team of just six support staff spread across multiple time zones. Our help desk platform Help Scout offers us tools to optimize our workflow, but for the most part it comes down to good old fashioned dedication and hard work. All our support staff are experts in their field, so you are getting the equivalent of other registrars Tier 3 support when you contact us, and we strive for a high number of first contact resolutions.

Wow! 300 requests per day divided by 6 staff members is 50 requests per day per staff member. An 8 hour day has 480 minutes, so that’s only about 9.5 minutes per request and for a continuous stream of requests. How many hours per day and how many days per week do you guys work? Is Porkbun support an all remote team?

Haha! We all work standard 40 hour shifts. A couple of our agents work a weekend rotation and take their days off during the week to give us full 7 day coverage. When I started we worked in an office in downtown Portland, Oregon, but went remote when the pandemic started. We have since hired new employees in other states to offer more coverage across time zones.

A large portion of requests are routine enough that they can be answered in a minute or two. We have canned responses in HelpScout we can easily select for routine issues, as well as knowledge base articles we can quickly link to. If you get a canned response from us it doesn’t mean we don’t care, just that we’ve answered the same question more times than we can count. Once the routine stuff is taken care of, we can give more tender loving care to the more complicated questions that come in.

As Porkbun’s Support Manager, how do you keep your team’s morale high?

I do one-on-one phone calls with each team member once a week to check in about how things are going. I also try to keep our Slack channel humorous by posting funny memes throughout the day.

Haha, I am the Support Manager for my own business, MetalVPS. Once in a while I receive support request messages from my customers. Besides answering my customers’ questions, I have a couple of additional rules which I try to apply in every support response. First, I try to add at least a sentence or two of relevant context. Second, I try to include links to additional information that might be of interest to my customer. How could I improve my support responses beyond what I already am doing?

It sounds like you are doing pretty well. As I previously mentioned, having canned answers and knowledgebase articles to link to can be helpful for responding to routine questions, but adding some personal flourish to answers helps to keep it from coming across as too robotic.

You used the word “expert” to describe the qualifications of your team members. Expert certainly squares with my experience! Every time I ask a question, your team sends a great answer! What’s the process by which Porkbun routes and assigns questions among support team members?

It’s really just a team effort to get through the support inbox. We don’t route tickets to specific agents, but utilize a shared inbox. Everyone jumps in and responds to tickets in the order they’re received. If someone on the team has a question they can’t resolve they’ll escalate it to me. In most cases I’ll put a comment in the ticket for how to respond and kick it back to the support agent so they know how to respond to similar issues in the future.

May I please ask more about credentials? Do Porkbun support team members typically have EE degrees? What about CS degrees? Work experience?

We mainly look for candidates with a strong background in customer service and technical support, as well as strong communication skills, but no degree is required to work here. I myself have a B.S. in Philosophy and English Literature. Previous experience with a web hosting provider or other domain name registrar is also a plus.

Can you share with our readers about Porkbun support team members’ compensation?

We provide a living wage that is non-commission based. We are therefore not incentivised to upsell. Customers can work with us confident that they can receive support without a combined sales pitch.

When Porkbun needs new support team members, how and where do you find them?

As we have moved to a remote work model we currently hire across time zones. We post on job boards such as We Work Remotely for the time zone we are looking for coverage in. You can also view current open positions on our careers page.

When the time comes for people to leave the Porkbun support team, where do they go next?

We have had no turnover in support since I started, but I hope we are setting our employees up for long and successful careers, wherever that might take them.

Do you have any advice for people who might want to work in support and for people who might want to join Porkbun’s support team?

As Master Yoda would say, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” For any support position with any company, be prepared to lose your preconceptions of what you think the position entails. We have our own way of doing things that may be different from other companies so a beginner’s mindset and willingness to learn new things is a winning strategy in this line of work.

Might Porkbun have a special offer for our readers? Folks who have read this far deserve a reward! How about a sign up link and a discount code?

Sure thing! You can sign up for a Porkbun account here and use coupon code LOWENDBOX22 for $1 off a new registration.

Porkbun Support Bun



Not_Oles

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