It starts with an early a.m. phone call from the client. Then you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. You go online as soon as you can get to a computer to confirm it: yes, there was a mistake in the e-mail. So, what do you do? First, put it in perspective. A friend of mine who worked for a mobile phone company used to say “we’re not saving lives, we’re just selling phones”. So, unless the flawed e-mail you sent could actually prevent you from saving lives, relax.
Then decide quickly how you’ll address the mistake. If you have to re-send the e-mail, the best thing to do is just come clean and admit you’ve made a mistake. After all, it doesn’t hurt to remind customers from time to time that there are humans on the other side of those e-mails they receive. Here are some examples of “Oops” e-mails I’ve received.