Sincere and well-made apologies work, even in the most difficult circumstances. And sometimes they can even be converted into opportunities. Here is an excellent example…
Couple of days back, GoDaddy, one of the largest domain & hosting companies in the world, had a massive network outage and thousands of small business websites were affected. Evidently, GoDaddy customers were furious about this. The outage lasted for about 6 hours before everything came back up.
Today, GoDaddy sent a apology mail to all its customers. In my opinion, the apology letter was so good that it may have not only pacified the affected customers, but also created an opportunity for GoDaddy to add to their bottom line.
See the apology mail sent by GoDaddy – I have highlighted most important parts of the mail.
Just see how well this apology mail has been crafted. It is simple, to the point and covers everything!
Important points in an Apology Letter
Say it sincerely, openly and loudly
If you are wrong say it – “We are Sorry”. Don’t give excuses and hide your apology in some corner of your letter. Do it sincerely, openly and loudly. This probably is the most important part. (See the title and first para in letter)
The affected person has to understand that you feel really bad for what happened. You have to make sure that other person understands that you have let them down and that you are aware of your responsibilities.(See the second para in letter)
Assure that it’ll not happen again
Once you have apologized, you also have assure that the same disruption/error will not happen again. Speak about the steps you have taken or contingency plans you have put in place. Don’t make it too detailed – just enough for the person to understand it will not be repeated. Also, make them aware of what happened (or did not happen) due to service disruption. (See the third and fourth para in letter).
At this point, if you have a long history of excellent service offered, make it point to say that – as this provides yet another layer of assurance that the disruption that happened was a rare occurrence and can be excused. (See the 5th para in letter)
Converting Disaster into Opportunity
Now, this may not be possible to do every time or in every situation. However, you should always think of creative ways in which customer will feel benefitted out of this whole situation and at the same time, it will add value to your own business.
In the example above, GoDaddy has offered a 30% discount for all the customers for disruption and have kept it for limited time for 7 days only. I am sure this offer will see a spurt in their sales volume. Infact, given the offering many who may have had a thought of moving out of GoDaddy may have actually bought or renewed their services with them
Let me tell you, Godaddy keeps offering such specials, but they have offered this discount as a return for disruption of services making their apology more sincere and appealing!
Kudos to GoDaddy!