Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It Pays to Apologize

The current edition of Business Week has a short note about a new study conducted by scholars at the Nottingham School of Economics in the UK. In the study, the researchers examined over 600 complaints from customers of a German wholesaler. For half of the complaint, which was posted online, they offered customers a short apology and asked them to remove the negative comments from the web. For the other half of the customers who complained, they offered a cash rebate in return for removal of the online comments. Here's the amazing result: 45% of customers who received an apology removed their online complaint, while only 21% of the rebate offer recipients did so. In sum, apologies, even brief ones, can have a major impact on a customer who feels that they have received poor service from a firm.

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