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If you enjoy this article I’d really appreciate it if you could help me get the word out – just share it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or even by mail with anyone you think might enjoy it.

I’ll see that you get bonus karma points for taking the few seconds to do so!

It’d be here…

HOW TO DEAL WITH A SCREW UP

MailChimp, my mail supplier, dropped the ball and broke some of their code – I’m assuming it affected tens of thousands of subscribers.  But they did such a job of handling their minor ‘Fontpocalypse’ that it’s worth a serious look.

MailChimp

I’m assuming that each of subscriber like me got the same message – which is an objective lesson in dealing with it properly when you screw things up royally.

Look at the note I received from Mailchimp below:

  • First they ‘fessed up: they came totally clean about the problem – before, I suspect, too many folk had noticed.  This was a small screw up, just a font error – and most users probably wouldn’t even notice.  But they didn’t either pretend they didn’t know, attempt to rationalize it away, or try to make excuses.  When you screw up – ‘fess up!
  • Second, they gave complete information on the extent of the problem – no fancy footwork and no careful wording – just the facts.  When you drop the ball – don’t leave people in the dark.  Tell it as it is.
  • Then they told subscribers what they could do to fix the problem – that’s what we all want, right – a fix?  When you let yourself down recover by telling your clients clearly how they can deal with the problem.
  • Finally, they offered anyone badly affected some kind of recompense.  Nice!

I’ve always liked the way that MailChimp blend a fun tone with a really seriously high service level.  The way they dealt with this, and their creation of a new word, ‘Fontpocalypse’, is another example of that effective and lighthearted creativity.

Now here’s a supplier who will have my business forever.

Well done guys!

Would you have dealt with this differently?
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