My lawyer just sent me the attached letter about the new .SUCKS domain name. I would love to hear your opinion after reading the letter. Thank you.
I’m no lawyer and I suspect that’s why you’re asking for my opinion, as well as for my experiences with other clients. Sure, many of our clients have had disgruntled customers post some pretty scathing remarks on social media like Facebook and Twitter. However, I haven’t heard of a single case where someone actually created a website to disparage the store and brand. Seems like if someone was willing to create a website, they would either need to be extremely upset or possibly a little disturbed. And if they are that upset, there’s really nothing you can do to stop them. You can’t possibly register every domain name to prevent someone from using your name. For example, the following names are just as good:
- name-fucking.sucks (sorry)
I think you get the picture.
The only one winners here are the domain name registration companies and lawyers.
When you do encounter a disgruntled customer, I think you need to reply to them immediately, whether that’s in person, over the phone, e-mail, social media, etc. Do the best you can to make the situation right. I’ve found most people to be very reasonable, especially when you put forth the extra effort to make it right. However, occasionally you’ll encounter people who simply cannot be reasoned with. These people are vindictive and will turn to social media, blogging and could even create a website to disparage your name. We’ve encountered a little of this with our own business, and I can tell you there’s little you can do about it. If you’ve done all you can to make the situation right and they are still unhappy, then my advice would be ignore them. Engaging them after a certain point has diminishing returns; they are hell-bent on fighting and hurting you as much as they can.
This can be a hard thing to take because we believe in what we’re doing and are passionate about our work. Isn’t that why we started a business in the first place? Sure, people will tell you to not to take it personally, but it is personal. This is our life’s work. However, there’s one thing that gets me through something like this and it’s super simple. We don’t suck. I’ve been to your office, I’ve met the people, I’ve touched your product, I’ve seen how your product is made – you guys are amazing! The story behind your company is incredible and something I’ve been wanting you to bring online for a couple of years now. Let’s show people your thought process when coming up with a new line. Let’s show people the manufacturing process. Let’s talk about the materials and workmanship that goes into each and every piece. Now, if we can fold your customers into this process, get their thoughts on your new designs and really engage them, then you’ll have a huge group of advocates that easily counter these isolated disgruntled customers.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything else.