First, read the original, cold-as-ice email below. This is a company nonprofits use to track client data and outcomes. The cloud service went down for hours, which was the equivalent of an eternity for its users.
The email is a matter-of-fact update about what the company is doing on the technical side to fix this issue. It’s short and to the point.
But this email update doesn’t address the pain caused to real humans. There is actually no apology contained in the original email!
It makes no attempt to address the emotional state the customer is in and no attempt to meet the customer where she is.
If you think about the level of inconvenience this company’s database outage caused, this email should have been written differently.
This is what a service outage email update should sound like: an apology acknowledging real-world consequences.
THE RE-WRITE: AN AWESOME CORPORATE APOLOGY EMAIL
Dear Valued Customer,
We love supporting the work you do to help people and change lives. We’ve been working hard to upgrade our software to serve you better. In that process, we ran into some challenges with server capacity and performance.
And that slowed down your work, as you rely on ABC Software to track and power your data and demonstrate the impact of the work you do.
I want to heartily apologize for the slowdown in performance. We didn’t even communicate with you about this. All I did was send you a shitty self-centered email with no apology. And for that I’m a doofus. Sorry.
We are committed to helping you do your work and to get it done quickly. Please know our server capacity and performance are being tweaked to seamlessly meet your needs.
Thank you for the work you so tirelessly do.