Yesterday morning, while writing blurbs and snapshots for the upcoming issue of A List Apart, I needed to look up a fact in Basecamp. (We’ve used Basecamp, 37Signals’ project management application, to manage each issue as long as I can remember.) Typically, uptime is fantastic. Uptime is so good, that when I experienced a blip yesterday, I assumed my internet connection was experiencing difficulty.
A quick Twitter search revealed I was not alone; Basecamp was indeed down. I tweeted the fact that the downtime was unusual. Note that my tweet is statement, sans @reply to 37Signals. Within nine minutes, I received an @reply from 37Signals’ twitter account, with an apology for the downtime and a link I could follow to keep up on the situation. They took the extra step to search Twitter for mentions about the problem and took the extra effort to reply my mention of the downtime. High five!
Things will go wrong. It’s what you do when thing go wrong—how you handle it—that sets your customer service apart from your competitors.
They fixed the problem within an hour. Shortly after, I received another personal @reply from 37Signals to let me know all was well and to apologize for the inconvenience:
So. Nicely. Done.