For the second year in a row Electronic Arts (EA), a video game company, has won Consumerist.com’s Worst Company in America by defeating Bank of America in a landslide victory. EA is the first company in the eight year history of this competition to win in back-to-back years. This “honor” is something no company should be proud of but EA’s response almost seemed to be and their customers are letting them know.
What can we learn from EA’s mistakes? Tons! But I will just mention a couple of things.
Own Your Mistakes
Mistakes are great learning experiences. Use them appropriately and your customers will become extremely loyal. You will get nowhere by being defensive and deflecting away from your problems. It will only infuriate your customers further. This is exactly what EA did! They sent out a release that was defensive and so unapologetic it felt more like a slap in the face. Telling your customers simply that “you will do better” is not good enough. Take a step back, identify your mistakes, and inform your customers of the issues you have found and ask for their input. Keep communication open and begin rectifying the problems. It may not be very popular initially but it will pan out into making your customers feel more loyal to a company that works with them and is listening.
One of EA’s biggest problems is that they just keep cranking out game after game. Now, as a guy who likes to play the occasional videogame I have no issue with this, except when the quality of the product drops because of it. EA can crank out games at this high rate because they own the rights too many of the industry’s top titles, especially sports games like Madden NFL or FIFA soccer which reoccur on a yearly basis. They can do this because they already have an established customer base. These customers will buy every new title, every year. This base is the most vocal because they invest a lot of time and money into EA’s videogames. When these games don’t do what they say they are supposed to, like SimCity 5, or are hurried and not thought through, like Mass Effect 3, these customers are going to let EA know and not in a positive way.
I could go on but the one thing that everyone needs to take away from EA’s second “Golden Poo” award is that communication is the biggest thing you can do to improve customer relations. By being open, honest, and genuine you can turn almost any bad situation around.
Many thanks to Consumerist.com for the great competition and amazing write up. Please follow the link below to read the original article and tell us what you think.
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