There are many workplace problems which can throw a curveball at your organisation. It can cause major issues that need to be focused on carefully, to avoid serious consequences.
It’s easy to make mistakes occasionally and this is part of being being human. However, when the wrong communication goes to the wrong customer, a serious problem could spiral.
The first thing to remember is that if this happens, you won’t be the first and you won’t be the last, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you should shrug about and pretend everything is fine. If that communication was particularly sensitive, major repercussions could occur. Of course, even if it isn’t sensitive, personal information such as name and address have been given out. In that case, you could argue that it’s always sensitive.
So, how should you deal with it?
Firstly, as soon as the issue makes itself known, contact the person who has received the communication. It could be that they contact you and that’s how the issue is raised. You then need to obtain the communication and redirect it to the correct person, while obviously apologising to the person who has received it. There is a large amount of damage limitation to do here also as a mistake such as this could easily damage confidence in your brand.
Do you need to tell the person who the communication should have gone to about the mistake? You may be tempted not to, but in all reality you do need to. They will probably find out anyway and it’s possible that the person who did receive the communication could make it known anyway.
This type of mistake can be extremely damaging. You need to look at why the mistake happened and add safeguards to ensure that it doesn't repeat itself in the future. Double checking is vital, but if it’s a computer mistake that has caused the communication to go to the wrong person, you need to raise that glitch with the software designers or company and find out how it can be rectified. Even computer issues require human double checking mechanisms in place, especially when it comes to sensitive information.