Shep Hyken

By Shep Hyken

Could You Own

Could You Own 150 150 Shep Hyken

Would you like to own a really cool website?

Since my life’s mission is to help companies create a customer service experience that their customers would think is amazing, I thought that could be demonstrated well if I owned the domain name But then I also thought that certainly some company totally focused on their customers would already own it. So, I typed the URL into an Internet browser, and do you know what I found? The site was for sale! Nobody was currently using this domain.

I thought that it would be neat for my brand to be the owner of this domain. But how much of an investment would that require? Well, I found out that the investment would be substantial, at least by my standards. I would love to have an asset that would brand me to customer service forever. However, budget is an issue for me, and domain names like these sell for really big dollars.

Well, if I can’t own it, which other brands can you think of who would love to have their name associated with The first ones that came to my mind were the obvious shining stars in the world of customer experience: American Express, Amazon, Ace Hardware, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Zappos … The brands you know and trust for providing amazing service.

But what about a brand … like Comcast? Just a few years ago, a phone call from a customer to their support center was handled poorly and it ended up going viral across the Internet. Since then, Comcast has been working hard to improve their reputation. So, would owning help them along this path? If so, they better hurry before one of their competitors, like AT&T or Sprint, beats them to it.

Whomever does decide to buy the name should be prepared to pay quite a hefty price for it. The present owners will likely eventually sell the domain name, but for more than seven figures. For the right brand, though, it may be well worth the price. For example, who better to own than Toys ‘R’ Us? In 2009 they paid $5.1 million for the site. And if you’re in the mortgage business, it seems like would be a natural fit. In 2000 Bank of America bought the domain name for $3 million. Just imagine owning a URL that could help define who you are.

So, which brand do you think should own Why not you?
Hypothetically (or even maybe not), what if you did own the URL? To be authentic, that would mean you would also need to live up to “owning” customer service. Do you believe you are worthy of owning it? More importantly, do you believe that your customers would agree that you are worthy of owning it? If you did own the site, would you do anything differently than you’re doing now to live up to the expectation of a brand that owned

These are good questions. So, pretend you do own the URL. Take a few moments to answer the above questions as though you do own the name. Your answers may give you a few ideas on how to deliver to your customers an even better experience. The point is, whether you own or not, treat your customers as though you do.