If you were in the management team at Sony – especially Sony Computer Entertainment – life is probably a little stressful right now. Knowing that you may have lost the personal data of 77 million of your customers, maybe even including their credit card info is cataclysmic. All companies have their ups and downs but this is a huge deal, and the impact of Sony’s
Good thing Sony weren’t trying to start a business in the cloud or anything. Oh, right. Oops.
But presented with a massive PR bungle, companies have no choice but to try and repair the damage and recover. So how does Sony, a company that already has a checkered past go about fixing this massive mess?
Refund paying customers
This should be obvious, but anyone who pays for PSN+ (regular PSN service being free) should be a refund for more than the amount of time the network is down. It’s a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. You cannot simply refund members for the exact number of days PSN was inaccessible in a PR disaster like this.
Give out free stuff
This is crass, but there’s no solution to angry customers like free stuff.
Ideally, the solution should be some kind of voucher system that includes both movie and games. Send out codes that can be redeemed for $5 or $10 for use on the Playstation Store for downloadable titles, DLC, and movies/TV from the Video Store.
But, that solution could cost Sony a couple of hundred million dollars, which may be too much. Better perhaps to have days of discounts or freebies on the Playstation Network where users could get cheap or free access to games or movies on specific days.
Make transparency a new mission.
Sony have already come under fire for what is at least perceived as far too long a gap between the network going down and an announcement of a personal data breach.
So now what they must do is not only be open about their new security (as much as they can, obviously), they must also simply make the functioning, terms and conditions and limitations of their network clear.
Now is not the time to say “yes, we’ve taken care of the problem, trust us”.
Increase the availability of prepaid cards
Wit users understandably edgy about giving credit card details, it’s time to make sure everyone knows about prepaid PSN cards. Print off a hundred thousand or so of those cards, maybe even sell them at a discount. Do what you must to get people using your service again.
Distract users with new services
Again, it’s crass, but it’ll work. Add features to PSN. NOW would be the time to add cross-game chat, a feature users have been clamoring for forever.
But any and all features that would entice users to come back to the network would be a boon for the now beleaguered service.
What about you? What would it take for you to start using the PSN again once it’s back up?