The Error Message Effect

Understand Your Buyer > How To Keep Your Clients Happy > The Error Message Effect

What is it?

The Error Message Effect is all about diffusing the potential negative effects when something goes wrong. From playful 404 pages on websites to having a sense of humour in your marketing, showing your fallible side can often save the day.


Why does it work?

It works because your buyers will appreciate your honesty and willingness to take ownership of the situation. Most notably KFC changed their supply chain and had a shortage of chicken. They fixed the problem and ran these ads as a result. This not only diffused the situation, but garnered yet more awareness for their brand.


How can you use it?

In a proactive sense, having playful messaging for when your website and systems are down is a simple change that nearly every business can make. Think about alternative things your buyers can do to overcome the situation and give them the phone numbers, links and other information so that any issues can potentially be overcome.

After that, it’s important to remember that when things go wrong (as they will do at some point), dealing with everything in a frank and honest way whilst taking ownership and remaining light-hearted will always be the best route.


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