Is public “brand shaming” ever a good idea? Maybe not, although I came across a story yesterday that may yet prove otherwise. A deli owner in Texas shut down his store after hearing numerous complaints about customer service. Employees are going to be trained in service, food prep, and cleaning, and the store will reopen after the “attitude adjustment” (according to the billboard outside).
It reminded me of when Dominos poked fun at themselves for what was apparently bad-tasting pizza, and (very publicly) made a turnaround.
There are some very positive benefits that may come from this kind of drastic brand turnaround.
- First, you almost have to get better. In both examples I mentioned, the owners and manage have put themselves in a position to get results “or else.” I’m guessing that as long as staff is loyal and willing, any brand would emerge victorious.
- There is also the matter of publicity. Not only is your story interesting and contagious, but you are gaining another step ahead because you’ve made a significant promise to do something well. Not to mention the return of former customers who come back when they hear what you’re doing.
- And finally, there is the matter of loyalty. As long as you stick to your new brand standards, you have just gained a valuable group of customers who know that you listen to them and appreciate that.
Clearly, this sort of thing isn’t going to work for everyone; however, if your guests seemed to have negative feedback in a specific area of your operations, would you consider it?