The power of making good on a bad brand experience is PROFOUND.
We know this from recent research, which shows that people respond with tremendous good will when a brand gets it REALLY WRONG, and then turns around and gets it REALLY RIGHT.
CASE IN POINT.
I recently decided to try something new, and bought a pint of Arctic Zero “Cookie Dough Chip” (which I had never tried before). Unfortunately, for a premium-priced ice cream pint, it was really bad. Almost no cookie dough. And tasteless.
Not a good experience to have when you try a new brand.
I though they might want to know, and I messaged them on their Facebook company page about this experience. Soon thereafter, a representative got right back to me, apologized, and explained that the batch from which I had purchased my pint had problems that could be traced back to a factory mistake.
OK. Fair enough, I thought. She then asked for my address so that they could make it right with a coupon.
This week I received a hand-written apology along with a coupon for a free pint (see main image).
Everyone knows this to be true: when you make an honest mistake, you should apologize quickly and make it right. This kind of behavior builds tremendous trust and goodwill with family, friends, and neighbors. Interestingly, however, it is no different for a brand — whether consumer or service-oriented.
Arctic Zero impressed me with their integrity, their willingness to completely come clean, and then make sure I had another try at their ice cream.
Let’s learn from Arctic Zero and how they handled this so well, and apply the lessons to our own brands:
THREE WAYS for Brands to get it REALLY RIGHT
after you get it REALLY WRONG
1. BE EMPATHETIC.
Admittedly, I was a bit frustrated when I messaged the Arctic Zero Faceboook page. But the representative who responded was perfect. She did not mirror my frustration at all. She EMPATHIZED with me, and even mentioned that she also would be unhappy if she had spent money on a pint of premium-priced ice cream that was not good.
2. BE PERSONAL.
Contrary to what I expected, Arctic Zero did not act like a huge, hermetically-sealed corporate structure at all. The representative, Michelle, was very personal and distincly un-corporate as she handled my situation, not only in her response to me on Facebook, but also in the hand-written apology and free coupon.
3. BE QUICK.
Arctic Zero reponded quickly to my issue. And within a week, I had a free coupon for another try. And to add to the goodwill, they have massively differentiated themselves from other companies by sending me a hand-written apology, something I have never experienced.
Apply the above three rules to your own company, life, and relationships, and you quite simply cannot go wrong.
Well done, Arctic Zero. You are now very prominently first-of-mind among ice cream companies who ACTUALLY care about your brand experience.