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How to Get Out of the Dog House

dog_daysThis is the fourth show in our five-part Dog Days series. Sometimes, no matter how hard you might try, no matter how good you think you’re being, you still might find yourself in the dog house. So let’s talk about how to get out!

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Accept being in the dog house

Depending on how much barking was done, and who did the barking, you may want to accept being in the dog house for a short period of time.

After a heated discussion, the best prescription may be a cooling off period. Just stay in the dog house until you and the other person are both calmed down. Then you can broach the subject again.

Puppy dog eyes

When you do broach the subject, be sure to flash your puppy dog eyes. Let them see how sad you are that you upset them. In other words, approach them with humility.

You won’t get very far if you come back from the dog house barking. In fact, you’re likely to end up right back there!

If you come back with humility, you’ll be more likely to have a productive conversation.

Lick their face!

Figuratively … not literally.

Start the conversation with two of the strongest words in relationship building:

“I’m sorry.”

You may not feel like you’ve done anything wrong. That doesn’t matter if you made the other person feel something they didn’t like.

It may have been unintentional. That doesn’t matter either. It still happened.

Apologize for making them feel that way. Then ask questions so you can avoid the dog house in the future. At least for this offense!

If they start barking …

Don’t make them defensive. If they start barking, step back a bit. Usually not much gets accomplished if everyone involved is barking. So take a step back mentally – even physically, if it helps – and try again.

It’s amazing how productive a conversation can be when no one cares who was at fault. You can’t control the other person. You can only control yourself.

So don’t reflect blame right back. Try to reword it in a way that is more conducive to taking the relationship forward.

Try not to use the word “you” in a negative way. Look at two ways the same thing can be stated:

“You said blah.”

“When blah was said, it made me feel …”

Which one would make you more defensive? Obviously the second one keeps the conversation moving forward.

Oh … just one final point … when you do finally get out of the dog house, be sure to wag your tail!

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We thank you so much for the gift of your time today.

Please join us next time as we look at what it takes to be a bigg dog. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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(Image in today's post by mioawee)

Apologies – The Bad and the Ugly

sorry.jpgYesterday we talked about how Ramon De Leon, the owner of six Chicago Domino’s franchises, responded to a complaint by Amy Ravit Korin on Twitter and created a video apology promising to “wow” her. You owe it to yourself to see how he did it.

When it comes to apologies, this is the good. Today we want to talk about the bad and the ugly and discuss three steps in the art of the apology.

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The bad

Domino’s, the chain, recently found itself making the news when two employees of one store posted a video on YouTube showing them mishandling food, to say the least. Domino’s President, Patrick Doyle, was featured in a video apologizing for the mishap and reassuring customers that this was an isolated incident.

There was backlash to this video because it didn’t seem sincere. We think that the apology itself seemed sincere. However, he wasn’t looking at the camera so it’s obvious he was reading from a script. He should have at least looked squarely at the camera when he said, “We’re sorry.”

The difference between this video and Ramon’s video is striking. Ramon is looking right at the camera and it’s obvious that he’s not reading from a script. There’s no question about his sincerity in the way he delivers his apology.

The ugly

You’ve probably heard about the free grilled chicken promotion by KFC. Unfortunately, KFC was not prepared for the overwhelming response to this promotion. Countless customers were turned away when they arrived at their local KFC to redeem their coupon. KFC’s President, Roger Eaton, issued a video apology.

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georgeI’m a positive-thinking person who loves positive-thinking people. But he was too positive in light the situation.

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marylynnI agree completely. He seemed happy. If I’m dissatisfied as your customer, I want to see that you’re unhappy about it. Show me that you’re empathetic to my terrible experience.

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george
Show you know I’m as mad as a chicken on a hot tin roof?

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marylynn
No … as mad as a chicken in a frying pan!

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The KFC apology focused too much on the success of the promotion and not enough on the debacle that followed. However, we’ll cut them some slack because they’re dealing with a more massive problem than the other two.

The art of the apology

Bigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Sometimes we experience the most growth when we’ve made a mistake.

No matter what medium you use to apologize – video, phone, e-mail, in person or some other way – there’s an art to it.

First, simply apologize.
Get it out of the way right upfront. Ramon, the Domino’s franchisee, gets right to it as does Patrick Doyle, the Domino’s President.

The KFC President, Roger Eaton, completely missed the mark. Instead of apologizing right away, he starts off talking about how successful the promotion was.

Second, talk about what you’re going to do about it.
Once again, Ramon nails this one. He told Amy that he was going to wow her. And wow her he did along with the rest of us. Patrick Doyle got this right too.

Roger Eaton eventually gets to the point – they’re going to honor the coupon and give you a free Pepsi product if you do a whole bunch more work. Instead of talking about how they will remedy the situation, the people who were affected have to follow-up to get what was promised to them in the first place.

Third, look to the future.
There’s nothing wrong with ending an apology on an upbeat note. Look to the future of the relationship. Ramon hit this one out of the park as well. We think the park was Wrigley Field!

Patrick Doyle closes strong. He thanks people for their support and says Domino’s will work to rebuild our trust. However, right before that, he says that “it sickens him that the actions of two individuals” could impact their brand. You could feel his emotion. This is where he should have started.

This is a mistake that’s easy to make – beginning and ending with an apology. Follow the process mapped out here to avoid doing that.

The President of KFC completely struck out. He apologizes right at the end of the video – the best apology in the whole video we might add. Fortunately, he didn’t close on that note; it appeared as if he would. He does end on an encouraging note.

Use this three-step process and deliver your message with sincerity the next time you have to apologize. We all make mistakes. When handled properly, even they can lead to bigg success!

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Please join us next time when we talk about out of this world communication.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us for a bit today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00393-051309.mp3

Related posts

Apologies – The Good

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Apologies – The Good

interactiveamy_dominos_crew.jpgToday on The Bigg Success Show, we were thrilled to welcome Amy Ravit Korin, also known as interactiveAmy. She’s a social media consultant to individuals, local businesses and Fortune 500 companies. We met Amy at SOBCon, the business school for bloggers. Amy has so much personality that, once you meet her, you’ll never forget her! So let’s get to the conversation …

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marylynnAmy, you told us this incredible story that we want you to share with our whole community. You recently ordered some pizza from Domino’s. But it took an hour to get the order to you and, when it arrived, it wasn’t right. What happened next?

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amyI called the store and they said they would send over another one. I’m also very active on Twitter – as a social media consultant it is one of my preferred methods of communicating. So I tweeted what had happened. I was just venting my frustration.

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georgeAnd that's when Ramon De Leon, who is the owner of the local Dominos stepped in, right?

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amyYes! He twittered me right away and asked which location I ordered the pizza from.

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Get in on the conversation

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marylynnThis is a good thing for local business owners to understand. Since you are a social media consultant, Amy, how did Ramon know that you had tweeted about him?

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amyThere are great tools out there that allow you to monitor the real time feed of what's being said on Twitter. Ramon probably had an alert set up for the word “Domino’s” or “Domino’s Chicago.” You can use any term that's relevant for you. In addition, you could also set up a Google Alert, which will alert you whenever your name, brand, or company is mentioned on the Internet. So Ramon said that he would remedy the situation and be back in touch when he had more information. I figured I was going to get a credit for free cinnamon sticks the next time I placed an order. Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning, logged onto Twitter, and saw a tweet from @DPZRAMON. It said, "Amy, we want to make it up to you, please click on this link." The link took me to a video apology from Ramon, who is the owner of six Domino’s franchises in Chicago. He was standing there with Junior, who is the General Manager of the store where I ordered my pizza. They were offering an apology for what had happened that previous night.

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The buzz begins

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marylynnLike a lot of people, we've watched that video. I really liked that the apology was very sincere!

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amyYeah, what's so crazy is, just this morning, I actually got a tweet from Ramon. He said that video has been embedded on over 30,000 websites! And this is not just 30,000 watching the video; this is 30,000 people who think it's noteworthy enough to feature on their website.

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Wow!

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marylynnAnd in this video, not only did Ramon apologize to you – and promise to make it up to you – he said that they were going to wow you! Now that's more than cinnamon sticks. So what did they do to wow you?

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amyFirst of all, I was totally wowed by this video apology. I had never seen or heard of anything like it. Well as it turns out, I'm also involved in the Social Media Club of Chicago. We hosted an event on Thursday, April 30th – the kick-off to SOBCon. It was a great event where we had all kinds of Chicago social media minds in addition to friends from all over the country. Independently of this video apology, Domino’s was already secured as an event sponsor. So if that wasn’t enough, Domino’s showed up with over 100 pizzas for our club. They also brought a personal pizza for interactiveAmy, with my name all over the box. Ramon delivered it himself.

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george
So he didn't delegate this!

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amyNo, he didn't! Not only was he there, he was really excited about it. He couldn't wait to meet everybody who had heard about him after the video apology. But he was most excited to come and meet me, which was really cool.

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george
And who can blame him, Amy? We know you!

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amyHe also brought some members of his team including Junior. And it was his day off! In addition to the personalized interactiveAmy pizza, Junior also brought me a dozen roses in my favorite color, fuchsia. See video of interactiveAmy with DPZRAMON and Junior.

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marylynnHow on earth did he know your favorite color? He must have visited your website where that color is so strong.

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amyThat's true. I don't know if he did his back end research or if he just took a guess that women like bright pink.

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marylynnWell, I am just wowed by all of this. It’s just incredible!

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interactiveAmy and DPZRAMON

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The conversation begins when a mistake is made

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amyI thought so too. Ramon and I are still in touch. He has become an example of what great customer service is and can be – how to take steps to forge relationships with your customers which is a huge opportunity. When somebody makes a mistake, it doesn't have to be the end of the conversation. It really should be the beginning.

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georgeThat's a great point, Amy. But you could have just said nothing and not gone back to Domino’s. Instead you said something – not even expecting a response – but he responded in such a magnificent way that you've talked about it ever since. Plus 30,000 bloggers have talked about it too!

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amyExactly. As the owner of my own social media company, this is definitely something I try to advise business on, from small mom & pops all the way up the Fortune 500 ladder. Take any opportunity to engage in a conversation about your brand, product or service. And listen – especially when someone says something that might not be the most flattering. It’s a great way to get insight and take steps to remedy the problem. So first you have to listen. Then you can engage. You can become part of the conversation and take the necessary steps to forge your relationship going forward.

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georgeThose are great points, Amy. Here’s what I’ve learned – if you need a case study for your social media consulting business, just be your own.

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amy
I think that's a lesson to all of us … go out there and make things happen!

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks Ramon for being a shining example of great customer service.

And thanks Amy for sharing your story with us.

And thank you for reading our post today.

Bigg Question

Have you been impressed with the response to a complaint? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com or calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444).

Please join us next time when we’ll continue on this thread. We’ll discuss bad and ugly apologies. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00392-051209.mp3

Related posts

Apologies – The Bad and the Ugly

Relationship Building Blocks

Failure to Do This Harms Relationships

Creating Wealth in the Next Generation Economy

(Image in today's post provided by interactiveAmy)

We the People are Taking Back Our Country

we_the_people We usually talk about money on Mondays. As we discussed possible topics for today’s post, we realized there was no bigger issue than what’s going on in Washington and Wall Street. Our apologies to our international listeners, but we’re going to be domestic today. But as we’ve seen, it obviously affects everyone worldwide.

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We usually don’t talk about politics. We won’t be partisan; there’s plenty of blame to go around. We know that we may upset everybody today; that’s not our intention.

We think it’s time to look at the facts so we can make the right decisions here in a few weeks … who are we going to hire?

Not just for President, but for government at all levels. It’s time that we, the people, take back our country, our states, and our cities.

We’re sick and tired of the blame game and passing the buck on personal responsibility. Leadership is about taking responsibility. The leaders of our biggest companies aren’t taking responsibility, but even more sad, our elected officials aren’t bearing it, or requiring it, either.

We, the taxpayers, invested $85 billion in AIG. What was AIG’s response? They threw a $440,000 “party”. Sure they called it a “planning meeting” or an “executive session”. But how can you justify spending that kind of money for a retreat when you’re using our money and you’ve been on the brink of financial collapse?

It was a complete slap in the face and our leaders should have seen it as such. But what did they do? Turn around and give AIG another $38 billion two weeks later!

How many of us could walk into a bank two weeks after we borrowed a bunch of money in desperation and get more?

How successful would we be at getting more money if we so grossly underestimated how much it would take the first time around?

“Oh, and by the way, Mr. Banker, we know you’ve heard that we wasted some of it on a spa getaway, but we need about half as much again as we borrowed the first time. Will you lend it to us?”

Can you imagine the response?

Fortunately, AIG scrapped plans for another “party” after news got out about the first one. Of course, we’ve also learned that they tinkered with the idea of spending some of our money running an advertising campaign to apologize for the first “party”.

Some insight into the mismanagement

Warren Buffett was interviewed by CNBC’s Becky Quick back in August. Part of the conversation turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’ll paraphrase …

Congress set up the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) back in 1992. The sole job of this agency was to evaluate the soundness, accounting practices, and the like of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Two companies … that’s all OFHEO had to oversee. Buffet, of course, notes that he does more than that all by himself.

It took 200 OFHEO employees and a $65 million dollar a year budget to do that.

Year after year, OFHEO reported to Congress. They stated that the accounting was sound. The directors were great. Everything was just fine. There was nothing to worry about.

Well, we all know what happened – two of the greatest accounting misstatements in the history of the stock exchange caused by management misconduct. What was OFHEO’s response?

A report to Congress blaming the management, the directors, the audit committee. Everybody but themselves.

200 people with a budget of $65 million overseeing just two companies. Yet they assumed no responsibility for this huge blunder.

The problem we have is that everybody blames anybody else every time there is a problem. It needs to end now.

How to put an end to it

The solution may surprise you. It starts and ends with us. We need to take personal responsibility. We made mistakes too. We bought in.

We saw government borrowing and living beyond its means, so many of us borrowed and lived beyond ours. From this day forward, that ends. We won’t forget this lesson. We will bailout ourselves. We will get back on our feet. We will prosper.

We also delegated too much. We voted, but we didn’t pay close enough attention to what our elected officials were doing. Well, Mr. or Ms. Politician, you have our attention now. And we’re going to keep paying attention.

What we can’t control

Here’s what paying closer attention has shown us – we see a complete vacuum of leadership. You’re not a leader if you don’t take responsibility for your mistakes. You’re not a leader if you don’t solve problems; you only assign blame to others. You’re not a leader if you can’t tell us where we’re at, why we got here, and what we’re going to do about it to make tomorrow better than today.

We can’t personally do much to change the leadership on Wall Street. We can’t do much to change who reports our news, because the media missed the boat on this one as well. We can’t choose the bureaucrats, like the ones at OFHEO, who oversee key agencies and put policy into action.

What we can control

We do get to choose who we hire to represent us. We have important decisions to make in a few weeks. Not just for President. Not just for the Senate or the House in Washington, D.C. We get to choose who will represent us at all levels of government.

So here’s how we put an end to it now. Quit thinking like a Democrat or a Republican. That’s another trap they’ve led us into and we bought in.

No, we will hire the best person for the job. We need to do our homework: What’s their record? What have they accomplished? How have they handled their fiduciary duties in the past?

The past is the best predictor we have of the future when it comes to human behavior. That’s how we would hire anybody else. Why would we hire our elected officials any differently?

We have access to the records of our current elected officials. We can know what they’ve done. We need to start paying closer attention.

Resources

Current legislation before Congress

Votes Database by The Washington Post

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Official site of the U.S. House of Representatives

Official site of the U.S. Senate

List of government agencies – federal, state and local

Find the official sites of state, county, and city governments

We the people

We’re looking for public servants, not party servants or power servants. We the people are taking our country back.

Go ahead, Mr. or Ms. Politician … take that special interest money. But you better be clear about who you serve. We the people.

Mr. or Ms. Elected Official, go ahead and listen to your party leaders. Just know that, on Election Day, we won’t vote for the person who serves the powers that be. We will vote for the person who serves us. We the people. 

Combined, we’re more powerful than Washington can ever be when we are educated and informed. We will take personal responsibility to learn who best serves our interest, and the interests of our children and grandchildren.

We the people are taking back our country.

What do you think? 

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