Years ago I bought shoes from online retailer Zappos.com. The company recently sent me an email, saying there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of my account information. The company “expired” and reset my password, gave instructions on how to change it and recommended I change my password on other sites where I use a similar password.
The email began “First, the bad news.” That was good. Zappos.com did not tap dance around the problem. The company told me what happened and what steps to take. The CEO Tweeted about it. He has a big Twitter following. The company was not hiding the bad news. But Zappos didn’t dig in its heels there. It reached out and communicated in other ways:
- a company blog post which showed the internal email it sent to employees along with the information customers received
- a separate page on its website for customers about the incident
- a dedicated email address for employees with questions
- a dedicated email address for customers with questions
Communications and social media circles often discuss this company for its culture and empowering employees. Now Zappos.com’s latest email to customers is just the right fit. Other businesses should take a similar approach if the shoe is ever on the other foot.