GoDaddy.com employs more than 3,300 employees with 8 locations, including Arizona, Iowa and India, and provides "follow-the-sun" 24x7x365 sales and support commitments.
In this series, we test the operational maturity of companies and organizations in how they leverage social media channels for sales and service processes.
For Go Daddy, we asked one simple question: How well does Go Daddy retain and upsell its customers when these customers reach out to them and bring their concerns via Twitter?
In a blog post written by Scott Kominers and Paul Kominers at Harvard Business Review from December 2011, they discuss a situation where Go Daddy announced its support of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in late October 2011 and how that announcement led to a substantial Customer Revolt against Go Daddy resulting in over 72,000 domains being moved away from Go Daddy to a competitor.
Because of this backlash, Go Daddy "halfheartedly withdrew" its support of SOPA. And because of social media, the news of their support spread like wildfire. The HBR blog post mentions that Go Daddy now serves as a case study in failed revolt prevention. This was back in December 2011. Has this perception changed at all? Is Go Daddy more prepared for PR disasters like this? Do they have an effective social media strategy in place to handle tough situations when they arise? And finally, how do they handle them now, when they do arise...even if that means "small" customer complaints via Twitter or Facebook.
Our focus here will be to measure how well Go Daddy is performing at addressing systematic and common-cause variation and not special-cause. It is, however, very important to point out that a good indictation of how well a company is prepared for a customer revolt is to look at how they handle daily communications and issues with their customers online via social media. Are they proactive and attentive or are they reactive and/or ignore their customers online?
@GoDaddy has over 134,000 followers on Twitter and 128,000 "likes" on Facebook. This shows they have a very large share-of-voice and people are listening. How well do they handle that responsibility?
(1) Response Time:
In our sample, the average response time is 1 hour and 50 minutes from the time a customer first tweets about Go Daddy. The median response time is 13 minutes and 59 seconds.
The breakdown of average response time by complaint, compliment/shout-out and other are as follows:
- Complaint: 2 hours and 7 minutes
- Compliment: 1 hour and 59 minutes
- Other (Questions/Opinions): 1 hour and 34 minutes
Conducting textual analysis of @GoDaddy's responses to complaints, we infer that it is possible that Customer Care researches a customer issue before tweeting to the customer.
(2) Types of Customer Tweets:
We looked at three broad categories: complaints, compliments and other. "Other" includes any varying type of tweet ranging from opinions about Go Daddy's advertising preferences to just generic opinions about Go Daddy's products.
48% of the tweets were in the "other" category. Most of these include tweets regarding the new Go Daddy commericals that will be airing during the upcoming summer olympics in London. Most expressed displeasure for it as Go Daddy had previously announced they were moving further away from "sex sells", but displaying the type of "objectivity" with the new commercials. Also, these tweets expressed opinions on specific products that customers were using. They didn't necessarily complain about the products, just had opinions about them or questions about them and were hoping to get answers from someone. These could classify as a sales opportunity for Go Daddy.
(3) Patterns on how and why customer's tweet received a response:
- Was there a pattern in which tweets got answered and which one's did not?
- Were there any specific criteria involved in how @GoDaddy decides who gets a response and who doesn't?
- Did the decision by @GoDaddy depend on the type of twitter profile of the customer?
The modal demographics of the customer included in our sample: A young technology savvy person of 30 years of age, male, residing in the United States, with more than 1,000 followers on Twitter.
We found that @GoDaddy has a pattern and seemingly has a criteria in how, when and why they respond. They made an effort to respond to the majority of the tweets that warranted a response. If the tweet wasn't directly related to Go Daddy (meaning not a complaint, not a compliment or not an opinion about Go Daddy products) and was just a news item or a promotion of one of their products, they typically don't respond.
Un-responded / News Type Tweet
Another Un-responded Tweet
It's easy to see why @GoDaddy did not respond to the tweets shown above. There was not a need in either case to do so.
We also observed that the tweets that got a response from @GoDaddy typically led to a conversation between @GoDaddy and the customer. Many conversations showed resolution and where the original tweeter was not left "hanging" for a follow-up response.
(4) Big "Aha" moment:
@GoDaddy responded to 75% of tweets that appeared to warrant some type of response from them. The conversations with end resolution indicates a best practice. Without the "critical-thinking skills" of the employees who manage the Twitter handle of @GoDaddy and without that outreach, imagine how many of the unhappy customers or potential prospects would have made the the switch to a competitor, given that Go Daddy's products and service vertical has low customer stickiness (ie. switching costs are fairly low). We can only imagine this dollarized opportunity loss prevention cost is not unnoticed by the Go Daddy executive team.
Go Daddy Grade
We ranked each tweet on the following metrics:
0: Non Existent; 1: Poor; ..., 5: Excellent.
Perfect score is 20 with the implication that the higher the score, the better the grade.
We graded @GoDaddy on:
(1) How well did they "operationalize" their service recovery and customer service processes using social media?
(2) How well did they promote their brand? --- "Hot for Technology" with the 120,000+ followers (that's Go Daddy's potential customers) of the Twitter handles included in our sample.
PAKRA's grading system comprises of four metrics: (See more on grading system)
(1) Average Response Time: How quickly did Go Daddy miss or not respond to?
(2) Missed Opportunities: How many tweets did Go Daddy miss or not respond to?
(3) Engage the Customer: Did the company engage with the customer in a visible way within the social-media channel used by the customer?
(4) Quality of Response:
- Did the response include empathy?
- Did Go Daddy agents follow procedures/policies in their response? (Such as: "get them off the air", "no apology guarantee")
- Did the response include any information that made the customer realize that the agent understands their issue?
- Did the response overcome the objection? Was there an attempt to assist the customer?
- Was the response "humanized"? Does the response appear as though it was written by a human and not an automated / canned message?
Go Daddy's Scores:
(1) Average Response Time: 2
While Go Daddy did have an average response time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, their median time was 13 minutes and 59 seconds. This implies that there were several responses that took much longer to get to. Because of that, the average can be skewed.
(2) Average Missed Opportunities: 3
Go Daddy left 25% of tweets un-responded that could have used a response.
(3) Engagement with Customer: 4
Go Daddy responded to 75% of the tweets that warranted a response fromt them. Of all the un-responded tweets in our sample, only 2% of those should have been acknowledged and weren't by Go Daddy.
(4) Average Quality of Response: 5
All responses adhered to typical content publishing business policies that @GoDaddy has and seemingly to their process. All issues were personalized to the original tweeter and attempted to assist the tweeter if there was an issue. Also, @GoDaddy worked to engage with those customers who weren't complaining, but rather complimenting them or just making their opinion known to the Twitterverse. This approach shows extreme humanization and personalization, which is what is required to have a successful social media outreach strategy.
Go Daddy scored 14 out of a possible 20 points and receives an operational maturity grade of "Proactive".
Our questions to Go Daddy's Customer Service Managers:
(1) What are you doing differently than everyone else? How are you able to respond to a higher percentage of tweets than most other large companies that receive similar volumes of inquiries a day?
(2) Does your executive management team routinely evaluate reports on processes where your sales and support team use social-media channels to interact with customers and prospects?
(3) What processes have you put into place that address concerns from customers, who are reaching out to you via social media? Do all channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) of social media incorporate the same processes?
Questions for you:
(1) Have you used Twitter to communicate with @GoDaddy or any other online web-hosting and domain registration service provider? If so, what was your experience?
(2) Would you use social media to communicate your customer experience rather than voice-calling customer service and/or completing web-surveys? Are you more likely to do so with @GoDaddy because they are a "tech" company?
Disclaimer: This study's intent is to identify opportunities for improvement for companies that are using social-media channels to optimize customer experience. The analysis is based entirely on publicly available data. Go Daddy Operating Company, LLC is not a client of PAKRA. All opinions are our own.
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