What do you mean, you “didn’t notice” until now?

Posted on October 13 2012 in Business Culture

Social media can turn your latest product short coming or service failure into a memeparody Twitter account, or blog.

Charlene Li said in a HBR article in 2011 that: “In a world filled with real-time, tell-all social media, your ability to hide from your failures is, well, non-existent.”

Even previously ‘untouchable’ brands aren’t immune. Obviously by now everyone is aware how inaccurate the new maps function is on iOS6 – prompting a wave of new demand for 3rd party map apps.  It has also spawned a Tumblr site for hilarious (or frustrating) screen captures of off-the-mark locations.

So – the question is, when the locals “take up arms” how will you react? With so much connectivity (users to companies & users to users) there is no appetite for sweeping things under the rug. The act of trying to cover something up is worse than the original error.

Gary Vaynerchuk has said many times that the “consumer’s bullsh!t radar” has never been better.  People know when you’re not being upfront, honest, and when you don’t care.

Perhaps that what makes the Domino’s Pizza campaign from a few years ago so refreshing. A company coming out and saying “this thing we made sucks, and we’re going to do better because you told us how bad it really was.

Even Apple’s horrendous new maps app (and user’s reaction to it) on iOS6 has generated an open letter of apology from Tim Cook.

But, I have to ask…

Do you mean to tell me that no one at Domino’s knew they we’re making terrible pizza? And, for so many years?! And, that some focus group really made people realize, “hey, this isn’t as good as we keep saying?”

And, Apple, one of – if not – the most innovative and smartest companies in the world didn’t know that the ‘new maps‘ was worse than the old maps? There wasn’t one engineer, designer, marketer, or executive that said – “this just doesn’t work right!”  I bet Steve Job’s wouldn’t have needed to write that same letter Tim Cook did.

Product and service quality should be everyone’s responsibility – and everyone should be empowered (or required) to speak up when things don’t look, feel, or work just-right.

There are thousands of case-studies written on companies that stopped caring and doing things the right way, let someone else be the next one.

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