Domino’s Pizza Crisis And The Response
With the growth of the social media, many organizations have found themselves on the receiving end from careless social media users and even some accurate documentation of faults within the organization have as well found way into the social media world. Domino’s Pizza was a victim of brand attack in April 2009 when two employees of one of their North Carolina stores made a video of themselves doing despicable and unhygienic things with the food to be delivered to clients as seen on the video still found on youtube (Householdhacker, 2009). The video went viral on the internet and the criticism started coming in fast. The Domino manage had to do something about the entire saga in order to retain their market share and also to recapture the customer confidence by depicting this as an isolated incident. Domino’s effectively managed to put this crisis under control by;
Quickly launching their social media accounts to counter the fast spreading negative publicity allowing the objective information to flow to the public.
Leveraging their loyal customers to help in spreading the positive publicity they needed to overcome the negative and discouraging comments that were flowing in quick and thick.
President Doyle personally delivered a corrective statement through a video posted on youtube, the same platform that was used by the negative publicity video to help those who visit youtube to find the true statement therein (Gregory S, 2009).
By quickly opening a twitter handle, which they did not have initially, Domino’s was able to release the objective information to their customers on their recognition of the video and the steps they were taking to handle the crisis (Frampton F., 2015). Through the account, they assured the general public and the customers in particular that this crisis was an isolated incident in only one store and that measures were being taken to find the facts behind the incident and sanitize the situation and take corrective measures. They also used the twitter account to handle any arising customer complains during this period of crisis. With this step taken, the customers had the reassurance that the company recognized not only the crisis generated by the video, but also their complaints in line with the mishandling of food by their employees. It brought confidence among the customers back since they felt that their personal complains were being looked into and responded to. This was one of the simplest yet effective ways of Domino’s building trust and credibility among the shaken customers.
Domino’s also used the advantage of having a large pool of loyal customers and leveraged on them to help spread out the positive publicity to counter the damage that was being perpetrated by the offensive video, basically they fought viral with viral as Young C.L. & Flowers A., (2012) put it. There were significant number of clients who remained steadfast with Domino despite the negative isolated incident and they helped in getting the word out there. The management put up a comprehensive apology on their website and requested their loyal customers on twitter to retweet their link so that as many people as possible would be able to get the information. This strategy was not only effective since it was the customers speaking to other customers (McBain, 2014), but was also fast as the link to the apology and twitter retweets went viral fast.
The video statement that was eventually done by the very president of Domino U.S., Patrick Doyle, was seen as the biggest step and most effective one for that matter in bringing operations back to normalcy and reestablishing the customer loyalty and protection of the brand name across the globe. In this video, Doyle unconditionally apologized over the prank video and recognized the warranted concerns of the customers. He further outlined the steps that the organization has taken in coordination with the relevant authorities to help sanitize the particular store including its temporary closure for audit and sanitation purposes, and a further legal step being taken against the two employees (Swifttallon’s channel, 2009). The video succeeded in bringing froth the humility of the management of the organization which endeared them more to the customers as opposed to the damage the dirty video intended. The video was also the epitome of Domino’s saving their brand from the possible disaster it faced and it also helped turn around an impeding disaster to an exemplary case study on how to handle the social media and crisis management (Rogers W., 2014).
The quick launching of their social media response to the youtube video crisis, leveraging of their large number of loyal customers and personal video statement by the president of the organization in rectifying the dented image of the organization helped the Domino’s Pizza in 2009 come out of the crisis stronger and with a customer base that is more loyal than ever before as Simon Dortmans (2011) later on indicates after almost three years of the crisis having passed.
Frampton F., (2015). A Timeless Social Media Crisis Plan-Domino’s Pizza. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from http://sos.marketing/a-timeless-social-media-crisis-plan-dominos-pizza/
Rogers W., (2014). Sales Mastery: 10 Keys to Building Trust and Credibility with Your Customers. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/07/sales-mastery-10-keys-to-building-trust-and-credibility-with-your-customers-cso-gp.html
McBain, (2014). Leverage Customers to Increase Marketing for Your Business. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from https://paysimple.com/blog/leverage-customers-increase-marketing/
Householdhacker, (2009). How to Get Fired from Dominos Pizza. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D9PikBzNNo
Swifttallon’s channel, (2009). Domino’s President Responds to Prank Video. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dem6eA7-A2I
Simon Dortmans (2011). Domino’s Pizza: A Social Media Success Story. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP8AHDcQUlk
Young C.L. & Flowers A., (2012). Fight Viral with Viral: A Case Study of Domino’s Pizza’s Crisis Communication Strategies. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from http://cssc.uscannenberg.org/cases/v1/v1art6/
Gregory S, (2009). Domino’s youtube Crisis: 5 Ways to Fight Back. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1892389,00.html
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