created: 02. September 2009, updated: 30. November 2017
As (almost) every day also yesterday our post-box was full of advertising leaflets. Quite some of you probably throug it to the trash bin immediatelly. I always check them (probably professional deformation, after working almost 8 years in F(ast) M(oving) C(onsumer) G(oods) where such features in such leaflets and catalogues are "big topic" and deeply analysed). Well, this time one specially stood out. On the first impression it was just normal leaflet, same as every month. But when I looked more carefully, there was something strange... the text...
Did you notice that you may not understand it? Well, it's not Slovene. Unpleasant mistake happened to well-known retail chain. Those catalogue which were found in post-boxes around Maribor, should probably be inviting Italian customer to visit their outlets in Nova Gorica or Koper. And now due to mistake in distibution we are reading catalogue in Italian here in Maribor. Quite unpleasant situation, not to mention potencial risk that some angry receiver of italian catalogue informs inspection (catalogues delivered in Slovenia need to be in Slovene langues).
What to do, how to react to minimise damage (and to not cause even more)? Ok, check internally how the mistake happened in order to be able to avoid in future. But what to do in the outside? Stay silent and hope that most of the customer throug the catalogue away without reading it, so they did not even notice the language? Publish the apologie and risk that also those who did not notice it will know? Or simply just send another catalogue, this time in Slovene? Hmmm... What would you do?
There is no simple answer, I guess. Every solution has pros and cons. But in any case reaction should be fast. As such mistakes can happen to all of use, it would make sense to prepare ourselves with a scenario "What if it happens to us?". Calmly think about what kind of mistake might happened in our communication to customers and how to solve it. Which are pros and cons of single solution? So which solution is the best? Then we save this scenario in our drawer (or computer disk) and we work on carefully to avoid mistake. And if (in any case) happens to us, we quickly take out our scenario and use carefully prepared solution to minimise damage.
what to do if it happens to us