I got a call from Travis the other day. I didn’t know him, but he works for Godaddy, the domain registrar and web hosting company that I use for this Blog. Up to now I don’t think I have had much call or reason to interact with them. I have my site on automatic renew and electronic pay from the bank. About the only thing I see from them is an email notification when then automatically renew my site and get paid for doing that. As long as the site has stayed up, which it has, I have been content.
I thought we would both happier with this kind of arm’s length, long distance relationship.
Still, Travis called me. The calling line ID didn’t say “Travis”. It just displayed a number that I recognized as an Arizona, USA area code. I have later found out that Godaddy is headquartered in Scottsdale (just outside of Phoenix, for those of you who may not be familiar). I didn’t know it was Godaddy headquarters calling when I answered the phone. If it had instead said something like “Travis”, I probably wouldn’t have answered it.
It seems I get so many spam phone calls these days that I always expect that long silence when I answer the phone from an unknown number, while the robo-caller detects my voice and switches me over to a real person. But not Travis. He was right there and immediately introduced himself and who he worked for right away.
I was pleasantly surprised.
He said he knew I was a busy man, so he would get right to the point. He said that Godaddy was seeing a significant amount of activity at my web site and wondered if there was anything going on that they should be aware of, or that they could help with.
Now normally I don’t do much more with the site other than type out one of these articles (using MS Word), edit it to my liking, copy it and paste it in as a new post and hit “Publish”. The web site is just a vehicle for getting it out to the world.
Travis seemed like a good guy, so I responded to his question regarding increased activity by wondering out loud if I had actually won the Nobel Prize for blogging, or potentially the Presidential Medal of freedom I heard rumors that I was up for. Travis didn’t hesitate.
He said that Godaddy normally associates the amount of activity that they were seeing with events of such or similar magnitude, but that he had already Googled me and saw that I was not nominated for either award. It had to be something else.
I thought to myself: Travis Game Level = Mage
After a little more discussion, it seemed to be determined that we could not determine what was causing the increase in activity to my web site. I guess people were just coming from all over to read the stuff I was writing. This is where the Travis upped his game level when it came to service. He started looking over my site.
The first thing he saw was that I was that I had a significant amount of content on my site. I mentally blew on my fingernails and polished them on my chest. I told him that I had been doing this blogging thing for over ten years. He noted the amount of content again and then asked me if I had ever backed up the site and the amount of data that I had on it. That way if there was a catastrophic failure I wouldn’t lose anything.
Uh, no. Can’t say that I have.
He then said the magic words: here let me do that for you. And in the background, I heard the quantity of tapping of keys that reminded me of the speed and quantity of gun shots expended in the latest John Wick movie, only faster. He then said that having finished that, he had now also programed the system to automatically back itself up once a month.
I thought to myself: I didn’t ask him to call me. I didn’t ask for his help, and he has solved a problem that I didn’t know I had before it became a problem. I very much appreciate fire prevention in lieu of future firefighting.
Travis’ Game Level now = War Mage
But he wasn’t done. He then noted that I was on a pretty old release level as far as the web site itself went. In all the time I have had it, I don’t think I have ever upgraded it. It worked great as it was. It never broke. It was fine. He noted that he believed the only other Godaddy customer on this web site release level were a couple by the name of Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
Well played Travis. Well played.
I said fine. Go for it. Knock yourself out. Again, the veritable buzz saw of key strikes and I then found myself on the latest web site release. He said there should be no problems and that this was a much more robust release.
This was going much better than any of the other spam phone calls I usually got. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
He then reviewed and saw that I was on a version of Word Press that was even older that the site release version. I said we’re in this deep. Let’s go big or go home. Update and upgrade that bugger too, if you don’t mind. He didn’t mind, so I them found myself on the latest release of Word Press as well.
I was now thinking Travis’ Game Level = Warlock
I did not know I was having excessive activity at my web site. I didn’t know that my content and web site were not backed up. I didn’t know that my web site and my publishing software releases were so far out of date before the call. Now I felt as if everything had been reviewed and updated. It sounded as though a very knowledgeable individual had gone through everything and reviewed for any potential issues.
I had not asked for all of this service. And, even better, I was not asked to pay for all of this service.
This is my idea of what great service is about. Reaching out proactively to a customer and going through their systems, programs and applications. Updating where necessary, and then thanking them for being a customer.
It is quite possible that Godaddy had put together a program where their service group would comb through their existing customer base looking for customers just like me who were so helplessly out of date that it was of benefit to both Godaddy and the customer to have Godaddy perform the requisite updates and upgrades. It would probably save them money, reduce customer issues and increase customer satisfaction. If I were them, I would probably do the same thing.
I didn’t care. They had reached out and performed a service for me without my asking. They had upgraded and updated my capability to continue to write and publish articles, such as this one.
They also increased my customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In the great scheme of things, I am just someone who has created a small, personal web site, and posts a blog using Godaddy. I am sure that they have many other, and many larger customers than me that they serve. The fact that I got individual attention. That I didn’t have to reach out and call them. That I didn’t have to fight my way through some sort of automated attendant answering system. That I talked to a knowledgeable individual who provided me with what I considered to be valuable service, was not lost on me.
I am not writing a homage to any specific company here. It may sound like it, but that was not the intent. I am merely using the company as an example and illustration.
What I am writing about here is how great service ultimately comes down to an individual, and a one to one interface. It is best done preemptively before there is an issue to resolve. How when each step in the service process is explained, customer buy in and satisfaction are gained. How attitude is important when dealing with customers. How being well trained and knowledgeable really counts.
Great service is doing a great job before you are even asked to do it.
Travis promised he would keep an eye on my blog, just in case the Nobel committee actually did start snooping around, because, you never know. Well done Travis.