Last December FedEx experienced its PR crisis of the year when a video went viral of a deliveryman arriving to a customer’s home with a package and threw it over the fence.
The customer had a surveillance camera outside their fence and incident was recorded. What would anyone do with that kind of footage? The answer is put it on YouTube. The customer put the short clip on the Internet and was seen by millions, and can still be seen today.
So what does FedEx do? They addressed the issue head on. They are recognized as solving one of the worst PR crises of 2011. FedEx took immediate action by apologizing to the customer and troubleshooting using social media.
FedEx created its own YouTube video to issue a statement of apology by the senior VP of FedEx Express U.S. Operations, Michael Thornton. He shared how the company fixed the problem with the customer and how FedEx will use the video in employee training so employees will know the correct and appropriate action to take when delivering packages.
“We hope that you, like the customer involved in this incident, will see it as an unfortunate exception that proves the rule that our company cares for its customers,” Thornton wrote.
Based on the YouTube video’s feedback, it was mostly positive. Customers and employees agreed with the actions that were taken and appreciated seeing a face to the company, and showing they care for their customers and only want to deliver the best customer service possible.
From a PR perspective FedEx did all the right things to control the aftermath of the situation. FedEx responded in a quick manner not allowing any spare time to pass. The company took the incident seriously and told the truth. They didn’t deny the deliveryman was a FedEx employee or that it never happened. They sincerely apologized to the customer and reimbursed them with a new computer. Bottom line: we all make mistakes, but it’s about how we recover from them.