What makes sense on paper does not always play well in the marketplace. It seems easy to think you would never do something to trash your company’s stock, but it can happen very fast these days. If Bank of America (BOA) fell victim to it, then you need to be sure you don’t. (Bank of America faces outrage over debit card charge) There are only two things that could cause BOA’s latest blunder of announcing they will charge $5.00 a month for debit cards – arrogance or ignorance.
The only way you can safeguard yourself from such stupendous mistakes is to focus on the fact that everything you do says something to your customers. You have to be sure what you do does not send the wrong message. BOA might have easily justified their decision internally because of their financial troubles, but that was irrelevant to their customers. Either BOA doesn’t care, or they don’t understand what they are doing to their customers.
You have to be very careful and examine every action you take in the marketplace and know exactly how it will be heard by your customers. What you think you are saying is irrelevant – only what they hear is important. If you do have to deliver bad news, get some counsel from a communications strategist (not just a PR or advertising person) before you do it.