Every once and a while, Harvard Business Review posts a case study to their blog and solicits their readers to come up with answers to the case. After reading what was posted earlier today, I took some time on my flight back from Washington, DC to Toronto to see if I could develop a suitable strategy for responding to the ‘crisis’ at hand. Head on over to HBR and check out the Case Study. I’d be interested to hear some of your thoughts on how Canadian Jet should proceed.
Here’s what I came up with:
When faced with a decision like this, it’s important to ensure that the group isn’t succumbing to any biases in judgment and decision-making. Right off the bat, it’s clear that one potential trap is the sunk cost fallacy. While the decision to keep the contest running might be the right one, it’s necessary to discern whether this choice is being made because “this is our biggest social media campaign,” and we’ve got “nothing [else planned] on this scale.”
If it were my decision, I would advise Charlene to keep the contest. Right now, it’s going through a bit of a bumpy stage, but when viewed through an optimistic lens, these customers who have tweeted “doozies” can actually turn into some of Canadian Jet’s biggest assets. How? By directly addressing their concerns.
Seek out those customers on Twitter who have shared tweets that have had the greatest impact (reach via retweets, etc.) and apologize to them. Speak to them directly on Twitter, (but not in a direct message, part of the purpose in doing this is so that others can see that you’re) on Twitter and express remorse for their concerns. Where possible, maybe offer some sort of compensation in the form of a discount on their next flight or something similar. It’s important to keep clear that you don’t think that this makes up for the fact that they’ve “missed their daughter’s wedding,” but that you hope they can find some consolation in it.