So many people like to talk about how to use social media for business and I just wanted to give an example of an exchange I had today with site5, a hosting company that I have worked with a lot throughout the past year. Here’s some background information. On May 1st, the main server for Ukulele Underground which is hosted by Godaddy (we signed up prior to learning about site5) was hacked and a malware attack was installed ans launched against our visitors. We were able to get the problem down and under control within a few hours. I called customer support at Godaddy and asked if there was a server wide attack (since we are on a shared hosting plan) they insisted it was my fault for not upgrading our installed software, specifically wordpress.
Ok, that may have been the case, our ad server might have been a little outdated and there was a lot of noise on the web just a little while ago about a huge security hole in that platform. I deleted the ad server, all the malicious code, rolled back all the files on the server to a safe back up and thought I was fine. Then last night we were hacked again. Same exploit. I did some research and found many other Godaddy customers experiencing the same problem with no wordpress installed or with it being fully upgraded. A security company has made suggestions that the vulnerability is due to Godaddy’s implementation of phpmyadmin. Godaddy however remains adamant that the blame rests entirely upon its users. So in venting my frustration late last night and this morning, here’s the experience I had.
For me to say that site5 and Godaddy are on equal footing and should provide me the same customer service is stupid. I am not that egotistical to think that Godaddy should give a crap about me. Why should they, I think we pay them maybe $100 a year. Godaddy is a HUGE company with millions of customers, Site5 has thousands of customers. I know I rank very low on Godaddy’s priority list and to them, losing us is not a big deal.
The point of this post is that if you are a small(er) business (like site5) and hungry to win, social media can really do wonders for you if you use it correctly. Social media is good for 2 things, listening to your customers/potential customers and scaling your customer service.
If you are exceptional, your customer service serves as all the marketing you need. Social media allows happy customers to sing your praises to potentially millions. And as we see with Godaddy, the opposite is entirely possible as well. Bad customer service = millions bad mouthing you. Do a search for Godaddy on twitter and you will see I am not the only one frustrated by the way this is being handled. The message is no longer in the hands of the company, it shaped entirely by the consumer.
Site5 is not perfect, they recently had a very bad email crash that affected many of its users, some of my clients and myself included. The way they handled it however was worlds apart from how Godaddy is currently handling their situation. They admitted it was entirely their fault, credited each person affected with a month of hosting fees, and Ben the CEO got on the phone and called customers who were affected by the outage to apologize. This is great customer service.
The twitter interaction with Ben is only a small part of the communication I had with the company today, most of it via email. They assured me that they could handle our entire migration, make sure all our files are clean, and try to work out a discount for switching over.
We’re going to end up paying site5 a lot more than we pay Godaddy currently and that is fine, I feel like we will be well taken care of and treated with a lot more respect. In this “thank you economy” showing your customers you care first then asking them to pay is the way commerce works. We thank businesses by giving them business. Those that grasp that now will prosper in the future.
Now I just need to get my personal blog to site5 and I’ll be all set.