Back From The Rocket Offsite Team Meeting Last Week: What I’ve Learned In 8 Months Working For My First Web Hosting Company

by Jeff Trumble on

Back From The Rocket Offsite Team Meeting Last Week: What I’ve Learned In 8 Months Working For My First Web Hosting Company

Last week was a milestone of sorts for Rocket, we celebrated our first offsite meeting as a team and I have to say it was a memorable few days in Jupiter, Florida for so many reasons.

Maybe it was because we’ve seen each other on Zoom every morning for months on a completely virtual basis, maybe it was simply because the sun was out and had the opportunity to hang out together in person that brought back so many memories of what’s been taken away from everyone for the last couple of years because of Covid-19.

We did manage to actually spend some time getting work done, breaking out brainstorming sessions on the whiteboard with sales/marketing and product funnels to carry us through the rest of the year. We probably got more accomplished over the balance of the day than what we would typically get done here in a month, and that speaks volumes about the limitations of remote working.

I’ve been to plenty of offsites over the years with a variety of companies, there were some real hugs and the time spent together was authentic.

Rocket.net team spending some time together at our first offsite meeting

While Rocket is still a startup, our growth and success has always focused on being a customer-centric company that has served us well since day one.

We broke out the markers and mapped out a priority matrix on the whiteboard for every single feature request and piece of customer feedback we’ve received to date. Rocket develops products with our customers in mind, how do we make their lives better?

We have a saying here that customers love Rocket because of our platform, but stay with us because of our support.

This was something I had to learn for myself… Despite working in digital and product marketing for well over 20 years now, Rocket is the first web hosting company I’ve ever experienced and everything was very new to me.

I talked all about how I meet Ben and learned about Rocket in my previous post about core web vitals, and although I was a customer for one of my hobby blogs and as an affiliate, it wasn’t until we decided that I had the opportunity to join the team that I really understood what working for a hosting company was like.

After getting my email and logins sorted out, I got to meet the entire Rocket team on Slack and see things in action. This is what I had been waiting for…

Live chat and support tickets now coming in, I got a ‘behind the scenes’ peek at what it means to be on the other side of the experience.

I don’t know how many WordPress websites I’ve built over the years. Dozens and dozens of them for sure, and I’ve used just as many web hosting companies over that time as a customer.

What makes for a great web hosting company?

It usually comes down to when something breaks and whether or not your web host is there to fix things.

Rocket is obsessed about customer support

I’ve had some companies send me to some third-party reference or link and leave me to figure things out on my own.

I’ve had other companies help me out, but it might take a day or two…

I’ve had other hosting companies simply not respond at all, and then after sending them a bunch of angry emails end up saying they didn’t see the original help ticket.

Ben would hammer home about the importance of great customer support early and often, but it wasn’t until I saw it for my own eyes that I understood and appreciated that it’s the backbone of Rocket’s success.

Ryan Flowers - Customer Success Manager

The truth is that our customers rely on us, we’re business partners when their sites aren’t loading properly which has real impact on their livelihoods, and we’re teachers when they have questions and need guidance to help them with whatever they need.

Rocket is smart!

Beyond being the oldest person working at Rocket, I’m probably the dumbest too. Everyone that works here is incredibly intelligent.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer it that way. I try to help sometimes and chime in with support tickets that are technical in nature, and they politely oblige me despite having no idea of what I’m talking about. There is always plenty of friendly ribbing that shows we’re all close and enjoy working together, everyone on the team brings something to the table.

We see it all here every single day. I’m always dumbfounded when our team figures something out, like a totally obscure 3rd-party plugin that is somehow impacting a customer website.. we track issues down.

Other web hosting companies will often say ‘not our problem’, while our team usually figures things out in minutes via committee and do whatever we can to fix it.

Rocket doesn’t have entry-level support, every single person on our team is equally capable of handling almost anything thrown our way.

Rocket is fast!

I knew this already, this again is how Ben and I met as we argued about website performance long before working here.

We’ve seen other major web hosting companies recently offer their own versions of Cloudflare Enterprise, but nobody does it better than Rocket and everyone knows it.

In the last few months alone, Rocket has launched new features and products such as File Manager, WP-CLI Terminal, Activity Logging, and Access Logs. Things that would take our competitors months to get out the door, we take customer feedback and get them into production at a fraction of the time they do.

I can’t wait to announce what’s coming next after getting back from our team offsite, it’s going to be pretty epic!

Finally. Rocket is a team that cares

Always easy to say, much harder to live up to. Our team is an extension of our customers working together as one.

There are no politics at Rocket, there is no hierarchy here.

Everyone has access to everything, there are no levels of management by responsibility or job title.

This is where being a startup is good. We all say good morning to each other, we work on customer support issues collaboratively.

There are no good or bad ideas. There is no fear of speaking out.

Even Ben takes direction just like anyone else does, whoever solves a customer issue is the boss for that moment.. and then on to the next one.

Everyone at Rocket has access to Slack, there are no department silos where secret discussions happen based on your seniority. None of that happens here.

We have daily stand-ups every morning and the entire team is encouraged to contribute and say what’s on their minds.

I wish there was something juicer to disclose to everyone. Frankly, working for my first web hosting company has turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had working anywhere over the last 20+ years.

And sadly, I don’t think it’s like this for the rest of the industry. How you treat people is really important and still means something. Whether it’s showing respect to your own team members or how you treat your customers, it does mean something and that’s the Rocket way.

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