Being Up-Front and Forthcoming: A Smart Approach In Maintaining Reputation

Author: Chris Marentis
Published: May 09, 2011 at 5:51 pm

In light of the recent news regarding Sony’s Playstation Network being offline now for more than 10 days due to a security breach, we’re awakened once again to the reminder that for any business, communication with customers is critical, especially when there’s a potential issue or concern that impacts the consumer in any way, shape or form.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news around the company’s security breach, much, if not most, of the attention they were getting early on was how they were handling communications about what was going on, and why the system was offline. There’s been a stir of unhappy posts, comments and accusations against the company posted online and throughout the gaming community about how Sony has handled communications around the incident and the fact that consumers would have appreciated knowing more clearly from the initial stages of the outing what was happening. Many consumers feel that the initial communications were untimely, vague, and a bit confusing.

Though the company appears to have come clean and clearly communicated as of late the details of the outage with great apologies, the communication may have come a little too late for some consumers, as would be the case for any company. Any company can offer free services or products and reimbursements for issues or concerns, but once a customer is angry or unhappy about how a company has handled a situation, there’s a risk of losing that customer completely.

And we want to be clear that we understand that internally, a company has to make some choices to protect the consumers, even if it might not be best in way of PR for the company, but even that type of information, if shared in some way, will at least help your consumers feel that you’re being honest with them, and they will be more inclined to trust that you’re truly doing what you can to protect them.

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Article Author: Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses …

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