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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!

 

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

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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 877.988.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!

 

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

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(Image in today's post provided by interactiveAmy)

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The Need to Lead – Part 2

career_opportunities On The Bigg Success Show today, we continued our discussion with Douglas E. Welch, host of the popular Career Opportunities, podcast. Last time, we discussed why Douglas has declared 2009 the “Year of the Leader.” Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeOne of the challenges we face is getting started. You’ve talked about inertia – we tend to remain inanimate unless we really push ourselves. One of your quotes that I love is that we need “leadership over laissez-faire.”

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douglasThere’s the old phrase that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. I see that every single day. It is so important. Newton had it right – objects at rest tend to remain at rest; objects in motion tend to remain in motion. I find that if I can get someone in motion, making the smallest step, the next step becomes all the easier. There is something about momentum and forward movement that builds on itself. Unfortunately, inertia builds on itself too. We can become really sedentary in our lives in a variety of ways – both physically and mentally. That’s part of the reason I write the column. Sometimes when I write, I picture myself giving that stone just a little bit of a push downhill. If I can get it to roll a quarter of a rotation, maybe it will start to roll a little bit further. That’s something we need to do in our own life and also cultivate in others.

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marylynnLeaders are admired for their ability to keep pushing, taking all the steps necessary to keep progressing toward goals. Does your knowledge in this area stem from a time when you didn’t push yourself enough?

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douglasI have to admit that I face this problem every day. I think we all do. There are days when we just want to sit down and do nothing. We just want the world to go spinning around us and not have to worry about whether we have groceries in the house or if that check has come in from that client. It just gets a little overwhelming to us. I grew up in a very small town – a rural town – in Ohio of about 2,000 people. Frankly, in a town that small, there’s a lot of inertia. There’s not a lot of push to go on. I found out very early, though, that I get bored very easily. If I don’t have a constant set of stimulus coming in, I can very easily settle down and just let the world go by me. So as part of learning about myself, I realized I have to have a new book to read, something new to watch, a new place to go to, a new area to go for a walk. I have to constantly have that new input so that I can continue to create the output that I do create such as my column, my podcast, and the other stuff that I do.

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georgeThat’s a great way of looking at it. Look at the inputs – the actions that you take – and then the results will come at some point.

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douglasThat comes from an artist coach that I had become friends with many years ago. I worked at Walt Disney Imagineering for five years as an IT professional in the computer department. One of the biggest perks I got at that job was that I had access to all of the art coaches that all the creative people did. One of the things we discussed was that you cannot output art or other great things in life unless you have enough input coming in. Those are the raw materials that you use for your creation. I really took that to heart and have lived that particular philosophy for a long time now.

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georgeAnd if you can’t afford a coach, find that friend who may be a little bit ahead of you in life or in their career. I have a friend who I meet for coffee. We would always say we needed to get together more often, but it never happened because we didn’t make it happen. So we finally said that we would meet at a particular time every month. That’s what made the difference – getting it pre-planned.

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douglasI started a whole new event here in Los Angeles specifically for that reason. It’s LA Friday Coffee. It is coffee and casual conversation between work and dinner. We meet at various coffee places all around the city. But at its essence, that is my attempt to get myself out on a Friday night to meet and talk to people that I don’t see often enough.

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marylynn
And boy you just can’t beat coffee!

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george
Unless it’s a martini!

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douglas
Anyone who follows my Twitter stream knows that I’m into coffee!

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george
We have to be, doing what we do. Right?

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douglasIt’s weird. I’m a geek in all things. When I find a new interest, I geek out on it as much as I geek out on technology or anything else I’m interested in. So I’ve read up on roasting coffee, how to make coffee, and the perfect espresso shot. My wife’s family is Sicilian and we’ve been to Sicily so I’ve tasted real coffee. That whole geekness kind of filters into my whole life as well.

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george
I’ll bet you make a mean cup of coffee though. When will it be ready? We’re on our way!

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Thanks Douglas for sharing your thoughts with us. He has started a free online resource called Career Camp where members of his community can share their expertise. We highly recommend it to you!

And thank you for taking time to read our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00333-021809.mp3

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Tips to Manage More Than One Business from Home

afraid We were fortunate today to visit with Grant Griffiths on The Bigg Success Show. Grant is the President and Founder of G2 Web Media, a firm that designs custom blogs for individuals and businesses. He is also the man behind Home Office Warrior and Blog for Profit.

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marylynn
One thing we need to add to your list of credentials is that you’re a recovering lawyer.

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grant
That’s right. I went through the twelve step program and I’m now recovering!

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georgeYou have so many things going on, Grant, and that’s a bigg trend for entrepreneurs now – to find multiple streams of income. We’d like you to share some tips on how you juggle it all with the attention it needs.

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grantFirst, don’t pick businesses or income streams just for the sake of doing it. You have to be passionate about each one. For me, blogging is a passion; working at home is a passion. I spend a lot of time working, which is one of the advantages of working out a home office.

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marylynn
If you can’t sleep at 2 in the morning, you can get up and get something done, right?

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grantWhich is exactly what I was doing last night at 1 o’clock! One thing I do is really take advantage of technology. When you work out of your home, you have low overhead. Since we do, we shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to the technology because that is the key to being productive.

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marylynn
What are some tools that you can’t live without?

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grantI use the MacBook because I can take my office with me so I stay connected to my clients and freelancers. The other tool that I would not be without is my iPhone. A PDA smartphone is essential because you can’t always have your computer with you. Basically, I’m accessible and can access anything I need to 24 / 7. I may have created my own monster! But to do what we do, you have to stay connected because you really are the company.

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george
You left a traditional career to do this. What was your first step?

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grantI started blogging to promote my law practice a month after I moved my firm to my home office. I wanted to control overhead and I enjoy technology. I was looking for some other way, rather than spending thousands of dollars a year on Yellow Pages, to market my practice. I spent about six months investigating blogging because, frankly, I just didn’t get it! I think that’s a problem a lot of people have – figuring out how blogging is really marketing.

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georgeIf a business owner wants to start marketing their business through blogging, how would you suggest they get started if they’ve never done it before?

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grantIn my view, the first thing you have to do is pick out a niche – the more narrow you can make it, the better. Once you decide on that, start reading other blogs in that area. Don’t be discouraged that there are other bloggers in your niche because, if anything, that just shows you that maybe you’re on the right track with what you want to blog about. Jump in the conversation by commenting on blogs that you like. Drop a blogger an e-mail and ask them for help. Then just do it – do one, don’t over-think it.

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marylynn
How do you stay sane?

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grantHave a very understanding spouse! Spend time with your spouse and children. Get out of the home office – take your laptop and run to your favorite coffee shop or whatever – to be around other people.

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marylynn
Yeah, don’t turn into a hermit!

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grantWell, I tell people that my wife stuck me in the basement to keep me out of her hair! Another way to stay sane is to create your own water cooler. That’s where social media comes in. I’ve gotten some of the best answers to my questions by using LinkedIn and Twitter.

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georgeAnd I always find great articles to read thanks to Grant’s tweets. He’s one of my favorite tweeple!

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We recommend to all of our audience who are on Twitter – follow Grant! Thanks so much for the great advice, Grant!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll ask a question – should we try to get kids to be more like adults or get adults to be more like kids? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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