Customers will love you and respect you for it. And they’ll stick with you.
More important: When a friend asks them which company to do business with, the apology will earn you more word of mouth recommendations than everyday good service.
Here’s a great example from GoDaddy, sent in by Jeff Arnold (thanks, Jeff!):
We owe you a big apology for the intermittent service outages we experienced on September 10 that may have impacted your website, your email and other Go Daddy services.
We let you down and we know it. We take our responsibilities — and the trust you place in us — very seriously. I cannot express how sorry I am to those of you who were inconvenienced.
The service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com. We have implemented a series of immediate measures to fix the problem.
At no time was any sensitive customer information, including credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised.
Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS infrastructure. This is the level of performance we expect from ourselves. Monday, we fell short of these expectations. We have learned from this event and will use it to drive improvement in our services.
As a result of this disruption, your account will be credited for the value of 1-month of service for each of your active/published sites.* This credit will be available to you for the next 7 days. Please click the button below to redeem your credit.
It’s an honor to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity to re-earn your business and trust.
As always, please call us 24/7 at 1-480-505-8877 — anytime, for any reason.
Think about this: People like Jeff are emailing bloggers like me to share the apology. That’s meaningful and substantial word of mouth. For companies that are bad apologizers, people are emailing bloggers to complain about how awful they are.
Which kind of company do you want to be?