Learning about apologies from Clif Bar & Company

If anyone wonders about the relationship between PR and marketing: how many of your customers will take the time to write a blog post acknowledging your greatness?  Are you working as hard as you can to make sure your customers Keep on Loving You?  Clif Bar & Company is. Sometimes your company, or your agency, will make a mistake.  How you handle that situation is a crucial part of marketing at any level.   My quick lessons:

  1. Keep it short.
  2. Acknowledge responsibility while pledging to fix the issue.
  3. Create a reason to come back.

Clifbar_logoI purchased a box of Clif Bars on January 28, only to learn on February 6 that my Chocolate Peanut Crunch bars were being voluntarily recalled by Clif Bar & Company as part of this peanut business.   While there was no evidence that the product was affected, the company decided to recall the product.  I was a little annoyed that I would be throwing away food, but I went to the Clif web site and requested a refund.  I received a very nice email in return, which included this letter from Gary and Kit, which was nice but every bit expected.

I'm just going to retype the note I received in the mail from Clif Bar and Company, along with 12 coupons for single free Clif or Luna bars.

We want to personally apologize for any inconvenience out voluntary recall may have caused you or your family.

As a food company, we make consumer health and safety our top priority.  It was out of a great deal of caution and concern that we issues the voluntary recall something we've never had to do in 16 years of business.

We appreciate the effort you have made in contacting us about this situation.  Though coupons won't buy back the time or energy you may have spent dealing with this situation, we hope that they will at least minimize the expense.  As you shop, please know that 91 Clif Bar and Company products are currently available for your enjoyment and are not impacted by the recall. 

Gary and Kit

My emphasis in bold on the part I liked the best about this note-I wish my 401(k) provider was as generous. I found this note a delight to open up and read.  I'll be buying Clif Bars in the future.  I'd give them 'kudos" but don't want to encourage the competition :)

I enjoyed the Clif Bar web site as well- not sure I need to review it but I encourage you to check it out at www.clifbar.com.