You know, advertising isn’t always about big budgets, kick-ass creatives and mind-boggling strategies.
Sometimes, all it takes a little bit of genuine effort to keep customers happy.
Have you heard about an American restaurant chain called Red Robin? Neither have I, until I read about how they created loads of positive media attention for just USD$11.50 (about RM34.70).
Noticing a heavily pregnant customer at his restaurant, the manager of Red Robin, North Carolina did this:
Yes, this was just an employee making a positive gesture, something that is severely lacking in Malaysian restaurants that for sure.
But the customer was so appreciative of the gesture that she decided to tell the world. That little piece of receipt went social and then viral, and ultimately made national headlines in the US.
You might think could have happened at any restaurant chain in America. Not really. Red Robin’s employees practice a culture called ‘Unbridled Act’, which encourages positive behavior.
And apparently, this wasn’t the first discount given at random to customers. They’ve been doing it for a while, it just so happens that this particular gesture made the news, probably because of the oh-so-sweet personal message.
Intentional or not, it worked. And worked in a way that even a big budget 30-sec TVC or a print ad with a catchy headline will never emulate.
Sometimes, it’s just about the little things. You know?
Sometimes, this whole advertising-marketing-branding thing can be a bit overwhelming. It just gets too needlessly complex, and hopelessly off the mark.
For the average consumer, advertising and all its associated activities are often intrusive, irrelevant and unwelcomed.
We marketers often forget to keep things simple and tend to treat consumers as idiots, as very eloquently explained in the following letter by a fictitious consumer:
I’m much smarter than your marketing gives me credit for. I don’t like to be sold…I don’t care about your advertising, your free samples, your promotions, your special offers. I don’t like to be told what’s cool, new, improved, last-longer, smells better, tastes better, or is less filling…I don’t care about your brand, it doesn’t matter to me. I avoid your interruptions to my busy day whenever and wherever I can…I don’t have time to pay attention to your sales pitch…You are white noise to me and I have tuned you out. If you want to be a part of my life, here’s what you’ll need to do:
– Be honest with me
– Keep your promises
– Treat me with respect
– Provide me with more use value than you take from me in cash value
– Teach me better ways to grow and expand my life experience
– Help make my day-to-day easier, lighter, more relaxed and enjoyable
– Help me to experience greater connection to what’s important to me
Do these things for me and you will win my trust and devotion. Then I will gladly welcome you into my life, and share the value of our relationship with others who are important to me.
Thanks to Brand Strategy Insider for the letter, and I sincerely hope we all can endeavor to treat consumers with the respect they deserve.
If you can’t serve your customers, bash them up. A method practiced by a certain KFC employee; allegedly of course.
But you can’t refute the video evidence. Even if he was provoked, this is still no reason for an employee of a global fast food chain to get all Bruce Lee with anyone; let alone a customer.
But strangely, I wasn’t all too surprised.
That’s because I’ve been noticing the lowering standards of customer service in Malaysia for many years now. I’ve also written about my own experiences and the possible reasons behind such dismal customer service.
The KFC tagline these days is “So Good”. I guess they are not only referring to the chicken (again, allegedly), but also to the whacking that one would get from disgruntled employees.
But that’s the problem isn’t it. The brand spends millions to say something and the employees – who are probably working long, unforgiving hours for pittance – say another. There is hardly any synergy between what you see and what you get from Malaysian businesses these days.
And the worst part, no one is bothered.
Like the many customer service mishaps of the past, this video will be forgotten and conveniently dismissed as a one-time-only incident beyond the company’s control.
But I would really like to see is Ronald McDonald kick someone’s ass though… that would be awesomely funny!