There's nothing more important to a business than its customers, and dealing with your business's goofs and foul-ups can be one of the thorniest problems.
A joke video making the rounds of the Internet recently showed Microsoft engineers being zapped and poked by users frustrated with its software or applications.
Six Apart, a company that makes the TypePad and Moveable Type platforms for some of the most popular blogs, has taken a novel real-world approach, letting its users, its customers, decide how much to punish it for real. The company yesterday sent e-mail to customers saying that they could decide, based on the inconvenience caused them by recent outages, how many days of the service to get for free, from 0 to 45, like this:
This is intriguing because as a business, TypePad decided to deal with the uncertainty of knowing how much it'll be dunned and are leaving it up to an honor system, in which the company assumes its clients will tell the truth and take only what they're owed.
A true apology based on trust of customers. Wow. I wonder how it will affect the business in the long run. Positively, I hope.