You’ll Have it Our Way – and Like It
By: Stephen Andrews, SVP, Fusion PR (@stevebandrews)
Messaging, messaging, messaging. It all comes down to messaging. I rant and rant, and yet it’s like Twitter. I feel like I’m screaming into an abyss of voices and chaos where no one can get beyond their own petty concerns and pay attention to what’s really important, what I have to say.
Messaging is more than a catchy collection of buzz words that roll off the tongue in a memorable way. Take Burger King’s, Have it Your Way™ seems like a simple and straightforward message. I’ll get what I want, what I order – not like the production line food at, say a McDonalds. So how hard is it to Have it Your Way? Apparently there’s an end user agreement I didn’t read that explains how having it my way, does not actually include, having it my way. Is it really that hard to read the screen / slip describing what I ordered? Apparently. Although it goes along with the mindless robot that kept looking at me and pointing / gesturing, for what I have no idea, since the individual never bothered to open her mouth and tell me what was causing her increasing frustration with my ongoing failure to comply with her rude hand gestures.
Come to think of it, that’s really not my way either.
When your messaging becomes so integrated with your brand it’s more important than ever to be fiercely protective of that brand and the messaging maintaining it. Attacks and problems will arise for every brand, the fewer problems an organization creates for its brand the better. It’s like anything really, plenty of problems always manage to find us, it behooves us to limit the self-inflicted damage.
In Burger King’s case what began as a small annoyance, though diametrically opposed to their brand messaging, turned into an increasingly funny (in the sad / shameful way) series of customer service SNAFUs. I ordered a burger, walked back to the office only to find that while my order was clearly indicated on the receipt (i.e. MY WAY), my actual food in no way reflected what I ordered. (So – NOT MY WAY)
I then went to BKs Web site to write, what I assumed would be, a useless complaint. (Again MY WAY – this time communications choice) Turns out there is no possible way to email / comment on the BK site. (Again NOT MY WAY) But there is a customer number, no toll free number (MY WAY), you have to foot the long distance charges to apprise BK of a mistake THEY made. (Again for the third time – NOT MY WAY). So I called the number (MY WAY) and there is a scratchy message that sounds like it was left at the last minute from another galaxy informing me ALL (yes that’s right, each and every one of the customer reps) were in a meeting and I should try back later. (For the fourth time in a row – NOT MY WAY).
In each and every customer touch point BKs behavior is in direct opposition to their messaging. The good news for PR director (or at least the poor sucker who has her name on BKs site) Denise Wilson, is I can help you with your messaging mess.
Shoot me an email and we can set up a time to speak. The best part… the section of the site that points you to ways BK will not communicate, is called: “We’re Listening.”