Many Sonic fans around the world were in a frenzy this past week after Paramount and Sega released the trailer for the 2019 Sonic The Hedgehog movie. While this may seem like a lovely trip down memory lane for many (throwback to playing Sonic on Sega Genesis…good times), the trailer upset thousands of people around the world. The trailer ended up being so horrible that it has almost double the dislikes than likes on YouTube. So what made so many people upset with the new movie? Two words, character design. Sega and Paramount have redesigned Sonic to essentially look like a man wearing a fur suit instead of the cartoon-ish hedgehog we have all grown to know and love. Shortly after the release of the trailer, people began flooding the internet with comments, tweets and posts about their dissatisfaction with the new Sonic. Fans needed the companies to know that they truly messed up, and what would be potential customers of the movie, were no longer going to support this product. Luckily, there was a glimpse of hope just two days after the release of the trailer. Instead of just ignoring the problem and continuing with production, director Jeff Fowler took to twitter to address the situation:
Now what does all of this mean in regards to career advice? Companies, big or small, sometimes have a hard time listening and addressing issues that customers have. Even though consumers may reach out through social media or even to the company directly, it may be overlooked and ignored as they believe people will still support them despite minor issues. What some companies don’t understand is that the customers are what keep them in business. It is important to read feedback and respond to it, letting the customers know you hear them and care about their opinions. Sega and Paramount could have ignored the comments about a minor thing like how the character looks. The movie could have been made and I’m sure people still would have seen it. However, the companies would have both lost a huge, loyal following that they would never get back if they just ignored what they were saying. By taking the initiative to respond and take action to fix the movie, they have kept their current customers happy, and probably have drawn in more due to how well the situation was handled.
Customer service on any scale is crucial to the success of any company and their products. All companies make mistakes at some point in their journey, but how they deal with these mistakes determines their success in the future. As a customer, make sure to voice your opinion on products to let the company know how they are doing. Customer feedback is a great way to monitor the success or failure of a product, creating the ability for companies to make it better. As a company, be sure to always listen to your customers and learn from them. Utilize any feedback you have to improve your company, even in the smallest ways.