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Crisis management or just another conversation

May 31, 2009

Over a month has passed since the Domino’s incident, but it’s worth a second look. The company was criticized for its tardy response, but at least it did something to reassure potential customers who were clearly concerned. The rogue video caused such a fuss because it focused on the hidden fear that people have with restaurants. This is the stuff of urban myth and legend. While the Domino’s President bravely records a video and posts it on YouTube, it’s not a conversation, it’s a crisis intervention and while the CEO is full of conviction and emphasizes the right words, where’s the real commitment here?

Close to 50 days have passed since the incident and to the best of my knowledge all the company has done is open a Twitter account.

Is this good enough?

Did it turn a crisis into an opportunity?

Where’s the conversation?

Where’s the transparency?

Where’s the proof that can be trusted?

If companies are in the conversation and continually delight and surprise customers with their response, they will gain trust and be able to diffuse situations like this easily.

If you aren’t listening and you aren’t prepared, this stuff becomes a crisis because it spins out of control. There’s no excuse today, the tools and the platforms for communication are right there and accessible for all to use.

If after a crisis you don’t grab these tools and make something it happen, it tends to suggest that you are hoping that people forget,. You want everyone to move on and you don’t want to have to worry about engaging in dialog and facing up to responsibility.

That’s very 1.0 thinking.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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