GoDaddy Crash Response Affects Revenue
How a company responds to a disaster, or in GoDaddy’s case a website crash, can have devastating affects on business revenue and profit.
Business management can take advantage of strategies to mitigate damages by aligning with customer value.
The pendulum swings from a well crafted, authentic, and immediate response which can heighten awareness and improve client affinity with the possibility of increasing revenues. On the other side is the company that is perceived to lack ownership, authenticity, or responsiveness and their behavior results in lost profits.
The Insurance Information Institute says that up to 40 percent of SMB’s effected by disaster never reopen.
How can your company or clients reduce the negative affects a disaster can have on revenue and ultimately profit?
Tips & Strategies to Avoid Revenue Disaster
- Take ownership.The first thing a company should do is to take ownership for the problem and as appropriate take responsibility for resolving it.
- Apologize.The best way to defuse a potentially volatile situation is to apologize to your customers and constituents for the situation, inconvenience, or embarrassment.
- Tell your side of the story. Depending on the type of disaster the company might want to offer an interview to local or national press. This is a good opportunity to tell the story from your perspective and allows customers to put a face with your company.
- Be transparent.If you don’t communicate an information vacuum will create it’s own version about what transpired and your company will loose control. Share what your company did the solve the problem and how you will respond in the future to reduce the probability of a recurrence.
- Acknowledge Customer Value. Tell the customer that their ongoing support and patronage is critical to your company. Sincerity is critical. A vital and ongoing strategy is to have your business focused on aligning to customer value. This will create a resonance between the company and customer which will serve you well in a disaster.
- Keep it simple. Don’t use technical jargon or large words that might confuse or worse make the situation seem even more dire. Customers will share this information. The easier, more memorable and creditable your story the better.
- Respond immediately. The faster the better. Seconds, minutes and hours count. An excellent strategy is to use social media to monitor what is being said and to proactively communicate directly with clients.
- Mitigate to the extent possible.If the disaster for your company is a day of down time for clients on their websites a mitigation might be a month credit for service as GoDaddy announced earlier. If the disaster is a chemical spill or a coal mine collapse with possible deaths, then full mitigation might not be possible. In this scenario keep the press close and tell them what you are doing to address the situation and reduce the probability of further damage.
- Provide press with constant updates. Contact person should be someone who’s friendly, knowledgable, accessible and responsive. Have the CEO or owner available for interviews with the press or key customers and stakeholders.
- Be proactive. Establish a working relationship with the press and your customers so when disaster strikes the lines of communication are well established. The goal is to have a good reputation, an abundance of good will, and high credibility with the press, community and customers before disaster strikes.
- Draft a disaster press release before there is a problem. This is the time to create carefully written phases which will convey the message. If you wait until there is a raging fire, your team will be more worried about putting out the fire then creating the exact right message. Lawyers are critical advisors. Gone are the days when companies can hide behind lawyers to avoid liability in the court of public opinion. However, lawyers should be engaged to help avoid any unnecessary or inappropriate liability in the court of law.
- Gather critical data now. This could include safety statistics, compounds used in processes, or pictures and bio’s of key executive staff.
- Don’t be defensive. You can never make everyone happy. Do the best you can and remember to keep telling your story, and answering questions to the best of your ability. Never become visibly defensive and give fuel to the already burning fire.
- Hire a professional. If your company doesn’t have an effective in house resource or they are too busy with the emergency hire an external and objective consultant to help.
GoDaddy’s six hour outage doesn’t rise to the level of massive oil spills, collapsed coal mines or earthquakes with deaths and loss of regional infrastructure. It was however a disaster for GoDaddy and some of their customers.
Let’s see how GoDaddy CEO Scott Wagner did against the first eight set of criteria:
- Take Ownership: “We let you down and we know it. We take our responsibilities – and the trust you place in us – very seriously. I cannot express how sorry I am to those of you who were inconvenienced.” Grade A
- Apologize: “We owe you a big apology for the intermittent service outages we experienced on September 10 that may have impacted your website, your email and other Go Daddy services.” Grade A
- Tell Your Story: “The service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables.” Grade A
- Be Transparent: “Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com. We have implemented a series of immediate measures to fix the problem.” Grade A
- Acknowledge Customer Value: “It’s an honor to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity to re-earn your business and trust.” Grade A
- Keep it Simple: “corrupted router data tables”. Whoa. What’s that? Technical jargon can be unnecessarily alarming to nontechnical audiences even though factual. Why were they corrupted? How many were corrupted? Why didn’t the company anticipate the possibility of corrupted router data tables? This is a common but avoidable mistake. Grade C
- Respond Immediately: GoDaddy kept clients in constant communications via their Twitter account at @GoDaddy and other social media channels. The email letter of apology was signed by CEO Scott Wagner and included a phone number and URL for contact purposes. Grade A
- Mitigate: “As a result of this disruption, your account will be credited for the value of 1-month of service for each of your active/published sites. This credit will be available to you for the next 7 days. Please click the button below to redeem your credit.” This is a nice and appropriate response. However it requires customer action. If your business experienced lost sales and employee down time saving a few bucks isn’t going to cover lost revenue or help you feel that the mitigation was commiserate with the situation. Grade B
Disasters sometimes create opportunities. A new phrase coined from the six hour outage was, “I’ve been GoDaddy’d”. CEO Scott Wagner might not be very happy about this today, but I can see the company creating a cute and effective marketing campaign in the future.
Have you been GoDaddy’d?
Disclaimer: Carol Smith is a continuing GoDaddy customer.