When something goes wrong, should you share the details of what happened? Should you tell customers what went wrong?
Communicating with your customers is an essential component of keeping them engaged and happy with your service.
When something goes wrong, open and honest communication becomes even more important.
When is it acceptable to not tell your customers what happened?
Perhaps when the truth will scare the customer?
A recent flight I had was delayed due to maintenance issues. The gate agent shared no other information than the fact that maintenance crews were working on the plane.
Eventually the problem was fixed, we boarded the plane, and made it safely to our destination.
However, we never learned why the flight was delayed or what the problem was.
Did we, as the customers, want to know the truth?
If the air conditioning was broken and then got fixed, we’d think nothing of it. However, if an engine was broken, or the hydralic systems were repaired, we would have immediately started to think about worse case scenarios.
I guess the airline didn’t want to tell us what went wrong so that we wouldn’t worry about flying on the plane.
Contrast this example with another delayed flight I was on. In this case, the crew announced to us that they were waiting for a flight attendant. A benign reason, with no cause for alarm.
When things go wrong at your company, how much information should you share with your customers?
Do you withhold information so that customers don’t unnecessarily worry, or do you go the route of full disclosure?