GoDaddy Fail – A Lesson in Social Media Crisis Management
How shocking that one of the premier internet services companies could completely ignore the role that social media could play in adding more confusion, anger and even damage to what is a monstrous breach of responsibility! In fact, hundreds of unsuspecting hosting companies had to field endless calls from customers demanding an explanation and a solution. Even though I don’t use GoDaddy to host my website (nor will I ever), because I registered the domain name with them, the technical problem they encountered with their routers made it impossible for the website to be accessed by any device. Yet, what did we see on GoDaddy’s site yesterday… the familiar face of Danica Patrick in a tight top with absolutely no information! Of course, the customer service phone number was busy.
Naturally, I turned to Twitter and Facebook to see if I could find an answer to what was happening and determine if I would ever be able to access my important work emails ever again. The information that was circulating through social media seemed to point to a hack by the group, Anonymous, which is known for hacking other prominent sites. Well this news just led me to worry even more that my emails would evaporate or even worse, be accessible to strangers, that my website would be shutdown indefinitely and perhaps my password and credit card information were compromised. While social media can provide instant access to news on demand, it also offers an opportunity for erroneous information to spread quickly by well- meaning, but misinformed people.
GoDaddy’s staff could easily have monitored the conversation in social media (those sites were working on their phones) and provided continuous updates as to the problem and timing for its resolution. There were 6 tweets on the company’s Twitter feed but they had no explanation of the cause, effect, timing or information that was helpful other than that they were working on the issue. Their callous reaction, especially in light of the expert analysis following the LinkedIn hack as well as other examples of public relations crises faced by companies has led me to explore other firms that register domain names. It is clearly time to change. I realize that the process of changing registrars is time consuming, but I think GoDaddy needs to learn how to treat its customers and rebuild trust. A cute babe in a wet tee shirt won’t make up for lost business during this difficult economy. Although there is a letter from the CEO listed in a link on their site today, it is too little too late and quite frankly not an explanation that is easy to understand.
For those of you who are interested, here is a list of alternative web hosting providers, many of whom offer domain registration as part of their service packages: Host Gator, BlueHost, Host Monster and Network Solutions (high priced). Check out NextAdvisor.com for a more complete list and Register.com for domain registration. Please feel free to share your recommendations for web hosting providers in the comments. Any questions, give a holler and you won’t receive the silent treatment.