Outlook apology is a template for crisis response

Where Microsoft fleetingly fails from a technical standpoint, it prospers in its corporate handling of the incident.

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But that’s exactly the crisis that persisted into this weekend for Microsoft when its Outlook.com email service crashed. On Saturday the company said it had resolved the issues for customers, some of whom had been without email for three days.

Though the company failed in technical areas, it succeeded in how it communicated the issue with its customers.

Microsoft issued a well-crafted, 400-word statement that could be used as a case study on how to communicate with customers by simply and honestly explaining a technical issue and the ways it is going to fix the issue so it doesn’t happen again.

Microsoft’s apology was effective for a variety of reasons including:

• The company actually made a public apology, emailed directly to all of its Outlook customers. It could have simply apologized though the media or posted it on a website, but instead it owned the mea culpa.

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