Empathy, or putting one's self in the shoes of the aggrieved, is also key. You may be right, problems might have arisen outside your control, but the people impacted are still impacted. "I'm sorry that we did not deliver and we're taking responsibility" is a far different message than "I'm sorry you were impacted, but there was nothing we could do."
Which brings us to the recent Skype outage and Microsoft's response. It's included below (pasted from their mass customer email). Was it Microsoft's "fault"? Maybe, maybe not. Are they taking responsibility? Seems so. They certainly are trying to be empathetic. Are they making it up to their customers? At least they are doing something. Is it expensive? Probably rounding error for the Internet behemoth. But, the loss of goodwill and defection to Google (oops, I mean Alphabet) or other solutions is more painful than opening up a free throttle for a week.
ARSC is happy to have the conversation with you about how your organization can be set up to navigate a crisis!
Our mission at Skype is to help keep you closer and do more with the people who matter to you most. It's a simple commitment, but one which we hold ourselves highly accountable for. On September 21, we experienced an issue that prevented us from delivering on our mission. We're sorry for the technical issue we suffered that day. We know how important our service is to you and how frustrating outages like this can be. We also know that sometimes saying sorry just isn't enough.
To make it up to you, over the next few days we will add 20 minutes of free calls to over 60 landline and 8 mobile destinations around the world*. Make sure you look out for your free calls as they will be available to use for 7 days.
Once again, we're extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused.