Wanna see how to blow your customers’ minds? Check out this amazing email from Buffer!

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My socks are blown off. My chest hair is curled. There might be some people enjoying ice skating in what’s normally a very hot location. Someone somewhere stepped up to the plate and created a no B.S. apology email that is a thing of beauty and a joy forever! Go Buffer!

(I asked Buffer if I could feature their emails in a blog post and they said sure—another example of great customer experience!) Here’s the whole email.

Hi there,

I wanted to get in touch to apologize for the awful experience we’ve caused many of you on your weekend. Buffer was hacked around 1 hour ago, and many of you may have experienced spam posts sent from you via Buffer. I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now.

Not everyone who has signed up for Buffer has been affected, but you may want to check on your accounts. We’re working hard to fix this problem right now and we’re expecting to have everything back to normal shortly.

We’re posting continual updates on the Buffer Facebook pageand the Buffer Twitter page to keep you in the loop on everything.
The best steps for you to take right now and important information for you:

  • Remove any postings from your Facebook page or Twitter page that look like spam
  • Keep an eye on Buffer’s Twitter page and Facebook page
  • Your Buffer passwords are not affected
  • No billing or payment information was affected or exposed
  • All Facebook posts sent via Buffer have been temporarily hidden and will reappear once we’ve resolved this situation

I am incredibly sorry this has happened and affected you and your company. We’re working around the clock right now to get this resolved and we’ll continue to post updates on Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any questions at all, please respond to this email. Understandably, a lot of people have emailed us, so we might take a short while to get back to everyone, but we will respond to every single email.

– Joel and the Buffer team

From the informal but still respectful tone to the bullet pointed list for ease of reading, this email just does so much right. Let’s go through it part by part:
1: A name- Joel.
Putting a name on the customer service engine of your product or services might not be a perfect move for every organization, but for Buffer, it works really well. It seems more human, and much more approachable than ‘Thanks, The Management”.

2: An informal, yet respectful greeting:
Hi there, I wanted to get in touch to apologize for the awful experience we’ve caused many of you on your weekend.

To the point, personal, and direct. No business fluffery or jargon here. Love it!

3: After a brief recap of what he’s apologizing for, he uses a sincere, simple empathy statement:
I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now.
His grammar is a bit wobbly on “I can only understand” (he’s missing a key word here “I can only BEGIN to understand”) but I chalk that up to time pressure and just good old human error.

4: Letting the customers know they are working on it up front, rather than using a vague, cliché-filled fluff bomb to explain away the poor service:

We’re working hard to fix this problem right now and we’re expecting to have everything back to normal shortly.

5: Probably the best thing about this letter: a concrete list of steps you can take in bullet point form. God Bless Joel. He thought about the needs of his audience, rather than the need to cover his fanny.

The best steps for you to take right now and important information for you:

  • Remove any postings from your Facebook page or Twitter page that look like spam
  • Keep an eye on Buffer’s Twitter page and Facebook page
  • Your Buffer passwords are not affected
  • No billing or payment information was affected or exposed
  • All Facebook posts sent via Buffer have been temporarily hidden and will reappear once we’ve resolved this situation

6: Always a good move: reiterate your apology and remind people that you are taking steps to resolve it, fix it, or change it.

I am incredibly sorry this has happened and affected you and your company. We’re working around the clock right now to get this resolved and we’ll continue to post updates on Facebook and Twitter.

7: Offer to answer questions, with a very nice setting of expectations upfront:

If you have any questions at all, please respond to this email. Understandably, a lot of people have emailed us, so we might take a short while to get back to everyone, but we will respond to every single email.

Well done Buffer Team!

There’s also going to be a Part II to this blog entry, since I received an equally wonderful follow up email.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Naomi Kelsey
SuperHumanNature
Naomi Kelsey has 10+ years of progressive responsibilities in the customer service industry, and 3 in the BPO training field, with an Instructional Design focus. She specializes in creating custom-tailored training programs in Language, Customer Service, and US Culture for both internal and external call center clients. Her vision is to bring "supernaturally human" customer service to all customers through innovative training methods and materials, great coaching tips, and true expert advice.

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