Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bad to Good

Client side friend Sulemaan Ahmed of Sears Travel came clean on One Degree last week about a moment of panic with a recent email campaign. It seems a few more emails were sent than anticipated. For background, here his the post.

Sulemaan pointed to restraint as his first move in handling the situation. And it was a smart one. Anyone who has seen Swimming with Sharks will give credit to the notion that cooler heads prevail. Apologizing was his second smart move.

When we take it upon ourselves to own up with our customers, you’d be amazed how readily the majority embrace the fact that we have acknowledged and apologized.

Transparency brings the brand to a human level. Accountability, in the form of an individual who is willing to take the heat and work to resolve the situation is the right approach – internally and externally.

We are all human and humans make mistakes. Technology is facilitator to bring mistakes to a very wide audience, very quickly. However, technology also provides a real-time way to make things right again.

Part of my response to Sulemaan’s posting on One Degree was the following:
“It is incumbent upon us as marketers in this space to continue the conversation even when we wish we could run and hide. Responding to issues with honesty and transparency to our customers/consumers on the rare occasion when it this happens demonstrates leadership inside and outside the organization.”

(Yes, I did just quote myself. This is not ego-mania at work, just full disclosure that that exact phrase was posted previoulsy on One Degree as a comment. I’m not a fan of the “double post”, so there is my own transparency at work.)

From the client side, I think Sears turned something potentially bad into something good. Kudos.


At 5:47 AM, Blogger Mitch Joel said...


I think it's going to be more posts like this that will make this Blog a success. Congrats on jumping into the fray and welcome to the Dark Side (of Blogging, that is ;)

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Sulemaan Ahmed said...

Thanks for the kind words Michael. Sometimes from difficult situations, good things do happen.
Congrats on launching your blog.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Michael Seaton said...

Mitch, Sulemaan - thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it!


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