Last week's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia was a horrible tragedy, killing 8 people and injuring hundreds more. Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman's communications to the public, however, have been stellar examples of how to effectively respond to a crisis.
Boardman reached out to Amtrak riders with an email that discussed the tragedy. He took full responsibility for what happened, expressed sympathy for the families of those affected, thanked the local first responders, and discussed how committed his team was to understanding what happened so that improvements could be made to prevent similar incidents in the future.
His emails went out to everyone for whom Amtrak has an email address--even people like me who haven't taken the train in years. He reiterated that even though service was resuming, his organization still had work to do, both to mourn and to learn from the tragedy.
The message made it clear that unlike many companies that have not faced tough challenges head on (think Malaysian Airlines or Takata air bags), Amtrak is on track to recover the trust of its customer base.
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