What do the NFL, Taylor Swift, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, Uber and Instagram have in common? Well, for one thing they all purchased a .sucks domain address—and so did we.
We all have three options when it comes to a disgruntled member of our community: ignore, fight back or engage. We choose to engage, and I suggest you do, too. Every organization has detractors, and a disgruntled former customer or two (or, if you’re in the airline business, downright haters).
Take Honda, for example, a company that knows something about engaging with its customers. After ten years, they just couldn’t get traction with their Ridgeline pickup truck. So what did they do? Dan Neil described their process in a recent Wall Street Journal article: “You can’t say Honda isn’t listening to its customers. More like stalking them, cornering them like animals in brightly lighted classrooms in the back of dealerships, battering them with clipboards, begging them for feedback: ‘Dear God, please, just tell us what you want, and we’ll build it.’”
And Honda did build it—a newly designed truck its customers want and are now buying. They found out it all came down to a basic design feature: the buttress (the design of the truck bed). After years of weak sales, Honda finally engaged, listened and made the changes it needed to to satisfy its customers.
That’s a forward-thinking approach. It’s a strategy to listen and respond to customer feedback—and so is the purchase of a .sucks domain. It’s a platform to engage with members who don’t love you.
Our company purchased a number of .sucks domains as part of a communications strategy to help us anticipate, listen and better respond if and when we heard from an unhappy member of our community. If anyone ever goes to our .sucks domain, they will be redirected to this blog and have an opportunity to contact me directly.
The world is flat, transparent and getting smaller. I think we are all hoping for a level of civility, open dialogue, and a forum to speak and listen so the need for a .sucks domain doesn’t exist. Until then, make a .sucks domain part of your community engagement strategy. It is better to be part of the dialogue and own your .sucks domain than have it purchased by an angry former member.
One more thing: When you go to buy your .sucks domain, buy a .love address too. Give your fans a megaphone to remind you and your members about the great things your organization IS doing.
Are you ready to have your annual event or membership transformed? Contact us today — (202) 660-1200.