We at The Armchair MBA have always advocated that a strong response to a misstep can actually leave you better off than if things went as originally planned.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, a small manufacturer of gourmet olive oils, Graza, felt they had not lived up to their own, or customers’, expectations through this past Holiday season.
Rather than concoct a complex and costly PR campaign to mollify frustrated customers (as the owner said “we are a 11 month old 5 person business LOL”), the owner simply sat down and wrote an email to roughly 35k past customers apologizing for shortcomings and promising to do better.
You can view the letter below. Hope your eyes are up to the challenge.
By all accounts the outreach has had a great positive effect – – not only was the letter’s transparency appreciated by many of the 35k recipients, but in an outstanding example of ‘collateral benefit’, it was picked up as a story by one of the biggest newspapers in the world (daily circulation around 2.8 million), AND The Armchair MBA is talking about it as well.
On the other hand, in addressing a small issue, the inevitably greater resulting demand will likely have created some much bigger challenges…for starters, production capacity might be getting some additional attention.
We wish Graza well. I would imagine that they will be expanding to more than 5 people in the near future.