Lithium CX Files: GoDaddy
“We care a lot about the success of entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
Rachel Makool – Senior Community Manager, GoDaddy
When you think of GoDaddy, the first thing that likely comes to mind is “that place where you can buy website domains.” While that’s still certainly true today, it’s no secret that GoDaddy’s business has grown over the years to become a bona fide champion for entrepreneurs and small business owners around the world. And when it came time for the company to build an online community that could bring all of that entrepreneurial spirit together in one place, they looked no further than Lithium to get the job done. (We’re certainly glad they did!) So, now that the community has been going strong for over a year and a half, we thought we’d check in with GoDaddy’s Senior Community Manager, Rachel Makool (@rmakool) , to see how the community’s doing and to learn about what’s in store for the future.
Building a New Reputation
I was brought in a year and a half ago to kick-start a community. That was my primary focus. Without a community in place, we knew we were missing out on an opportunity to connect with our customers in a more meaningful way. We cater specifically to two core customers: 1) small business owners who are looking to build a website to promote their business; and 2) what we call “GoDaddy Pros,” people who are hired by small business owners to build websites for them. They go hand in hand. In fact, we always had a community at our fingertips; we just needed to build a platform where our customers could get to know each other and potentially work together. That is the true spirit of any community, after all.
We understand that running a small business is hard – and that many small business owners don’t necessarily have the skills, expertise, or even time to build websites on their own (even though we’ve got some great self-service tools for that, too!). Building our community was an opportunity for us to show our customers just how much we care about them and their business’s success. It was also a way for us to begin building a new reputation, one that’s more about creating relationships with our customers than simply conducting transactions with them.
A Vision for the Future
What many people don’t know is that, as a business, we’re constantly trying to come up with new ways to help small business owners grow and promote their businesses. Our community is a core component of that strategy. First, we see it as a place where our customers can learn from each other, brainstorm together, and even go into business together (it has happened before!). Second, it’s where we can play an important role by providing our customers with information and support that can help their businesses succeed. Being a small business owner involves a learning curve; our goal is to help minimize that learning curve as much as possible. One way of achieving this is by making our community much more personalized. We are already listening to what our customers want to know more about and delivering content and information to address those needs.
Multiple Measures of Success
Success looks like a lot of things. If you look squarely at the numbers alone, we have grown our community tenfold since launch – and we’re dedicated to making those numbers grow in the coming months and years ahead. And as our community has grown, so has our revenue; our community has directly contributed to a 65% revenue growth for GoDaddy over the last year.
To accomplish this, it’s been critical to receive internal support from the top down. Fortunately, we’ve got that support and work with a number of key stakeholder groups internally to ensure that our community is not only a success for us, but also, and more importantly, a valuable resource for our customers. For me, this kind of support is just as much a measure of success as are our community growth and engagement metrics.
Funny enough, our community’s success doesn’t always come down to the numbers. Here’s a story for you. Before we launched the GoDaddy community, we identified a handful of GoDaddy Community Founders who could help us create something truly relevant and useful for our customers. During this pre-launch phase, two of our founding members – one in the U.S. and the other in Canada – found themselves being in contact quite a bit and, over time, realized how much they enjoyed working together. Fast forward to today, and they now run a business together – all thanks to our community. This is a great example of why our community matters.
Want to hear more? Check out the video below to see what else Rachel had to say:
GoDaddy powers the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. With nearly 17 million customers worldwide and over 71 million domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com.
ABOUT RACHEL MAKOOL
Rachel Makool (@rmakool) is an experienced marketing professional specializing in Community strategy and implementation. She develops innovative programs that focus on understanding and meeting customers’ needs that connect with the strategy and goals of the business. Currently Rachel works at GoDaddy as a Sr. Community Manager. Previously, she has helped large and small companies to develop and grow their communities like Facebook, eBay and Yardsellr. At eBay, Rachel was a pioneer who led efforts to build customer loyalty, capture and analyze feedback through an advocacy program, increase word-of-mouth and sustain the relationship with eBay’s customers through consistent engagement and communication. Her extensive tenure working with online community makes her an effective mentor, strategist, and public speaker in these areas.
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