Just a few days after FedEx had a delivery fiasco go viral on Youtube, UPS was caught in a similar situation. While not as extreme as the FedEx error, the driver was quite intentional in his action. The driver gave the camera that was recording him the’ third finger salute’ and then threw the box on the customer’s doorstep. The box appears to be from Zappos. It is possible that the contents were shoes or clothing which were not likely to break but Zappos do sell accessories which might be damaged. Here’s the video which has been seen far fewer times though other sites also are showing the video. Notice the difference in how the crisis was handled by UPS compared to Fed Ex.

On Dec 19, 2011, a Youtube video was uploaded showing a FedEx Employee delivering a monitor by throwing it over the fence. It went viral. As I write this post it has been seen more than 5.7 Million times. Imagine the embarrassment of FedEx! FedEx responded with a video of their own with 11 elements worth noting. Alas the video has only been seen by about 5% of those who saw the first video.

Social media continues to strengthen the consumer’s ability to get satisfaction from large organizations where front line employees have been unable to resolve issues. This story is about Delta Airlines and baggage allowances for US Army soldiers returning from overseas duty in Afghanistan. An issue arose and a dissatisfied soldier posted a video on Youtube that went viral and embarrassed Delta Airlines. It took less than a day for Delta Airlines to issue an apology and change their policy but 200,000 people have seen the video. It was removed from the Youtube site, but the web never forgets and a mirror site picked it up and 20,000 more people have seen it on the mirror site. Outrage followed with news wires picking up the story and there are 1284 articles on this topic on Google.

Sometimes, in business and in life, we make mistakes and need to apologize. I have written several articles in this blog on how to effectively say you are sorry. I found this interesting article called The Science of Effective Apologies by Guy Winch, Ph.D. which has some research behind it. According to the scientific research by Ryan Fehr and Michele J. Gelfand of the University of Maryland, the way you apologize depends on the nature of the relationship you have with the other party.

There is really no GOOD way to say you are sorry but there are many terrible ways. Read the 4 step process and the 5 soft skills that will help front line customer service employees and senior management when they need to apologize.

When things go wrong in your organization, it is far better for the organization to be the one to announce the news. Tell your story rather than allowing someone else to break the news with their story. This will minimize damage control. Read the 7 things you should do right away.

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