Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A Customer Experience Apology Tale

Has your brand ever apologized to a customer? If yes, what led to the apology? Did an employee make a mistake? Was a customer promised something, and your brand did not deliver? Was a communication sent in error? If your brand has never encountered this situation, then stop reading. If your brand has been in a situation requiring an apology, keep reading for an excellent example of doing it right.

One day, I received a letter in the mail (yes, via snail mail!) from the president of a nonprofit I support with the following message:

"Dear Debbie,

I'm writing to follow up on my letter of apology regarding your 2024 Partner Card.

As I mentioned, the card inaccurately reflected the number of years you have supported us and how long you have helped transform clients' lives. Receiving your first gift 18 years ago was cause for celebration then, and it is now. You are an amazing and critical part of the work we accomplish together.

Please accept your new Partner Card as a reminder of the many lives you positively impact every day. Your kindness inspires me.

Warm regards, President of Nonprofit"

Wow! How many times in your professional life have you seen any organization (for-profit or nonprofit) own an error and acknowledge that error in writing? I don't think I'm unique in counting the times on one hand.

However, I cannot remember receiving the first letter that was referenced in the above communication, which means that I would NEVER have known that an error had been made. This makes the second letter (whose content was shared above) even more remarkable, since the correct letter DID NOT HAVE TO BE SENT TO ME.

Now, let's applaud the Guide Dogs for the Blind for its one-of-a-kind efforts to own its error and correct it. Sounds like a donation is in order!

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