What Your Credit Union Can Learn From U2 & Apple

Imagine it's your friend's birthday. You get them an AWESOME gift and decide to deliver it in a really cool, unconventional way.

In the dead of night, you break into their house and put the gift in the foyer, where they are sure to see it.

They (understandably) are not pleased.

While this isn't exactly on the same level as what Apple did last week when they auto-gifted millions of people with the gift of an unwanted U2 album, lots of people felt a similar sense of violation. A whole lot of people.

This is an unfortunate fact of life as a business - at some point you will piss everybody off. I can't think of a single successful company that has not made a mistake at some point in its existence. 

How you respond after making a misstep says a lot more about your company than the mistake you made. Here are two takeaways your credit union can glean from this debacle. 

  • No matter who you are, you will mess up. This is inevitable, even if you're one of the most successful and important companies of all time. There's no way around this, and it's best to be prepared for the inevitable. When you're kicking around ideas for campaigns and emotions, spend some time exploring it from every angle - is there possible consumer backlash? Is there any way it could backfire on you? Prepare a contingency plan so you'll be prepared in the event it does. 
  • When the backlash happens, offer a solution that gets to the core of the issue. Apple released a tool that automatically removed the album from phones. They set up a micro site with instructions on how to remove the album immediately.
  • Sometimes ideas that seem good on the surface are actually really, really terrible. With the recent incidents featuring several celebrities having their phones hacked through iCloud, perhaps it wasn't the greatest idea for Apple to force download content onto people's phones. 

How does your credit union respond to poor customer feedback? Do you have a crisis plan in place? Let us know below!


DeAndre Upshaw is a former Young & Free Texas Spokester. He's a marketing professional living in Dallas and a Beyonce enthusiast. DeAndre is the host and executive producer of The State of Awesome. Follow him on Twitter and check out his personal website.