Now that we live in the days of Enron and Tyco and Aldelphia I was a little surprised to see companies stand up. This week I received emails from two CEOs at two separate companies where I buy good or services from. Both messages were for very different reasons but they were about interruptions in service quality. Both came in the form of an apology with an explanation.
Typepad, this hosted blogging software, has been growing so so quickly that they outgrew their data center and were forced to move. The problem was they moved one week too late and as a result the sites were slow and people were having difficulty logining in.
Levenger is a catalog and online supplier of "tools for serious readers". Levengers call center was located in the path of hurricane Wilma and as a result the location lost power for a week. Many people were not able to make purchases because the demand ont he back-up location was just too great.
Both CEOs notified their customers of what had happened, why it had happened and what was being done to correct the situation. Both CEOs took the time to try and get out in front of the problem. Both CEOs addressed the issues instead of hiding from them. Even a unfortunate problem can turn into a good customer expereince. In the long run did these experiences hurt their businesses ? Only time will tell, but they have the respect of at least one very satified customer.