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DBS apologise with the 3Rs – Will social media bite?

After the last post on DBS attempt to connect on social media via Twitter, I received a comment from Chris Ng whom I found to be the Vice President, Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank on Linked-in.

I replied to Chris that the DBS should look at the 3Rs of crisis communications which is inspired by a book, Drop The Pink Elephant by Bill McFarlan, I read a few years back.

Bill wrote that in any crisis communications, the brand, via the spokesperson should show Remorse, Reason and Remedy.

Today DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta apologise with a message to bank customers. A video message to client, via Youtube, would have given it more weight in show more sincerity. However, it seems a written letter would have suffice for the bank.

Did DBS Bank follow the 3Rs as suggested?

(All quotes are taken from

'I am writing to personally apologise to you for the inconvenience caused by the sudden disruption in our banking and ATM services from 3 am to 10 am, Monday, 5 July 2010,”  wrote DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta. “You have every right to expect uninterrupted services 24/7, 365 days a year from us and I am sorry we have failed you on that count.”

Remorse, definitely.

This component was emitting alert messages, indicating that there could be an intermittent problem. As our IT environment is highly resilient and as the banking system was still fully functional, the problem was classified as 'low severity,' wrote DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta.

'A component replacement was scheduled for 3 am, a quiet period, which is standard operating procedure. Unfortunately, while IBM was conducting this routine replacement, under the guidance of their Asia Pacific team, a procedural error inadvertently triggered a malfunction in the multiple layers of systems redundancies, which led to the outage.

'The IBM Asia Pacific team is the central support unit for all IBM storage systems in the region, irrespective of whether the installation has been outsourced or is being managed in-house.'

Reason, indeed. The message also clarified the role of IBM which lead to confusion.

Stressing that he is treating the matter with 'utmost priority', Mr Gupta said a full scale investigation is still underway, with the support of IBM's labs in the United States and their engineering teams in Asia.

Short of a remedy but it do show that DBS is putting in place to ensure customers what they have done to ensure this will not happen again.

Great communications, the question is will the public or social media bite?

By the way, has resume their tweeting service..


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