Or, how to treat your customers right.
I’ve had a number of domains with Register.com for years now. They’re not the cheapest, but they’ve got good tools for managing your domains and back when I used to be a freelance web designer/developer I had to call them a number of times to help address setup issues for clueless customers. They were always nice and helpful.
But, I had about seven domain names with them. Roughly three months before every domain expired I’d get an e-mail from them that essentially said “OMFG Yer gonna expirez! Renew Now!!!!”
But, nowhere on the e-mail does it actually mention that you’ve still got 3
months left before it does. It’s all about the scare tactic and trying
to convince you to sign up for multiple years. “Renew
Then, about a month before your domain expires they’ll call you and be all “OMFG EXPIreS!!” And, to be honest, the people who called were always friendly, but my last conversation went something like this (I’m paraphasing):
“Example.com is about to expire. If you renew for two years we’ll give you x% off.” “Don’t I have that on autorenew?” “Yes.” “So, it’ll just renew itself when it expires right?” “Yes, but we can take care of that right now over the phone.” ….why would I dig out my credit card, read the numbers to you in the middle of my office, wait for you to type it in and repeat it to me when I can just do nothing and let the automated systems take care of it for me?! “Um, no. That’s ok…” “Ok. Anything else I can help you with?” “No thanks.”
It actually went on for a bit longer than that, but you get the gist. This happened to me about seven times a year. “OMFG reneW!” email 3 months early, followed by an “OMFG reNew!” call. There was probably another last minute OMFG renew email too that I’m just blotting out.
Now, somewhere along the way I registered a silly domain that I didn’t care much about. So, I just went with a cheap vendor that I knew wouldn’t disappear tomorrow, in this case I tried GoDaddy.com. I have to admit that I was a little curious as to what their setup was like too.
GoDaddy’s tools for managing your domain are not slick. They get the job done but they could really be simplified and made much more user friendly. But, I only have to touch them when I set up the domain the first time, and if I ever change who is hosting it. So, essentially never. I, of course, turned on the autorenew on that domain and promptly forgot about it.
A year later GoDaddy sends me an e-mail that essentially says “Hey, your domain is going to autorenew in five days. Here’s how much it’ll cost. Just wanted to give you a heads up.” then, a smidge later “Hey, it autorenewed. Here’s your receipt.” And then, the bit that blew me away. �Maybe a week later I get a phone call (again, paraphrasing).
“Hey, this is GoDaddy.com your domain just autorenewed and we wanted to check that everything is ok, and see if you had any questions or wanted help with anything.” “No, I’m good. Thanks.” “Great. Well, have a nice day.”
I was stunned. Practically staring at the phone after they hung up. They never try to sell me anything. They never try and get me to renew it for an extra year, or six, at some discount, although there is one available. They never try and sell me hosting or mail or anything. They just call to make sure I’m a happy customer. Holy, fucking, shit.
End result? 13 domains all at GoDaddy.com and price never entered the decision to transfer.
P.S. It’s funny how many companies don’t understand the simple fact that customers appreciate it when you treat them the way you’d like to be treated. GoDaddy.com apparently does, and that is why I’ve taken the time to relate my tale to you.
P.P.S GoDaddy.com is a lot like Microsoft in that they engender strong opinions. And, a bunch of you are going to say “OMFG Kay! GoDaddy is teh suxz0rz!” But, I’m not hosting my domains with them, I’m just using them as a registrar. And yes, I’ve heard some bad tales about what they’ll do to your domain if they think you’re a spammer, or doing other bad stuff which I’m not thrilled with, but, for now, let’s just keep this focused on how they handle their customers.