When a national opinion poll shows you’re less popular than root canals and head lice, you know your brand is in trouble. Public Policy Polling’s just released poll on Congress found just that.
If your own brand is in trouble, what are some emergency measures you can take?
- Own it, don’t avoid it. “Yes we made a mistake, yes we’re going to fix it” has been proven time and again to work better than avoidance. Remember the famous Jeffrey Jarvis Dell Sucks fiasco.
- Use social media. If a customer calls you out on a mistake through social channels (i.e. comments on your website, Facebook page or Twitter), apologize directly through the same social channel and explain how you will solve the problem. That way, other customers see you take action. Take a page from the best online retailers here (Zappos, for example).
- Let authentic positive voices drown out negative ones. If you are being hammered by an outlier unhappy or even vengeful voice, engage your supporters to drown them out, rather than trying to take them on yourself. This can include encouraging (through other channels like email) your supporters to post positive comments, or even upload positive videos about their experiences with your product or organization.
Of course all of these suggestions only apply when the individual/company/organization takes responsibility for the quality of its work. Much as I love my hardworking friends who are staffers on the Hill, this may or may not apply to Congress as a whole.