Buffer: Getting Right Getting It Wrong
If you do just about anything on the web, there’s probably going to come a time when something like this happens to a site/service you use.
Hi – you may be aware Buffer was hacked 2 hours ago and spam messages were posted. So sorry for this. Update: http://t.co/FlM7XuOtxc -Joel
— Buffer (@buffer) October 26, 2013
For most Buffer users, myself included, there was a little housekeeping required (reconnecting accounts, checking feeds/pages for spam) and some understandable downtime but we were largely unscathed.
For others, the effects were considerably worse. Nobody wants their personal or business feeds sharing spam. Nobody wants to have to explain or justify that.
Here’s the thing: Buffer gets it. Not in the ‘We’re sorry, now let’s move on’ way that I’ve heard so many – too many – times from much much bigger companies. Buffer’s apology is ‘We’re sorry and we’re not moving anywhere until this is fixed’.
Three Key Ways Buffer Nailed This Apology
Check the Twitter feed, blog, Facebook page. Buffer ‘Happiness Heroes’ are superglued to their chairs making sure everyone gets answers, acknowledgements and reassurance.
Buffer has blogged throughout the weekend about the steps they’re taking to strengthen security. They’ve shared the numbers. They actually want people to know what happened, rather than hiding behind vague statements.
Within an hour of the hack, Buffer was letting people know. They didn’t wait for hours or try to sit on the incident until they knew more. This speed allowed many users to help spread the word, check their feeds for spam, respond to their own followers with information.
I worked in customer service for several years and I learned many things, but I think the key takeaway point was this:
It is not the mistake you make but the way you deal with it that shows true character.
So companies of the world, learn to do the following when you make a mistake:
- Say sorry
- Mean it
- Ditch the vagueness
- Be available
- Be fast
How do I feel about Buffer now? Positive. Super positive. I’ve been using their Awesome plan for some time and Buffer has become a favourite service of mine. The response to this simply heightens my admiration. Anyone can make a mistake. Few come close to fessing up so awesomely.