Last night I gave one hell of a serve to The Online Circle, a “full-service interactive agency” who I accused of… well… read it for yourself. Today their CEO Jeff Richardson emailed an apology, and I reckon he’s more than made good. Bravo.
I’ve always said that the true measure of a business is how it responds when something goes wrong. Too many try to cover the cracks with bullshit — I’m sure you know the kind of hollow corporate PR-speak I mean. It takes integrity and, indeed, guts to respond directly to criticism, particularly when it was a direct and as harsh as mine.
Mr Richardson, Sir, it takes a solid effort to write an email like yours, which I thoroughly appreciate, and of course I accept the apology.
Here’s the full text of Jeff’s email:
Firstly, I apologise.
Secondly, thank you.
I read your post this morning about our agencyâ€™s emails to you and, of course, you’re right. Spot on in fact.
You raised a number of different points from our understanding of our audience and spamming to the actual grammar in the email.
As a small agency we do find ourselves rushing from time to time and itâ€™s apparent weâ€™ve rushed too many times through this process. This may explain things but obviously it isnâ€™t an excuse.
We need to slow down and commit the time a task deserves. We also need to accept that while we are very good in some areas weâ€™re not necessarily the right people to do everything we try to do.
Your post has brought this reality back to me and all involved at The Online Circle.
As an aside, we did review your website. What we didn’t do was categorise you properly. Our bad.
We’ve unsubscribed you in our database and you wonâ€™t hear from us again unless we are responding to something you have actively written about.
I hope you accept my apology and I invite you to keep us honest if you ever pick up a future imprudence.
P.S. Your â€˜arsehatsâ€™ comment cut deep. Weâ€™re small business people trying our best. This time our best wasnâ€™t good enough. Not even close. But weâ€™re not arsehats and we’ll be working to prove that. Cheers.
It’s always good to see someone who stands behind their business. Despite the serve I dished out, The Online Circle responded with dignity and honesty, and you can’t ask for more than that. Well done.