Sunday, 17 October 2010

When brand organisations say “sorry” it can be extremely powerful

I hate it when dealing with a brand organisation when they don’t say sorry if it clearly is the appropriate action. Instead they usually focus on protecting themselves...often it is the customer service people who regard it as a personal duel and an opportunity to prove how clever they are....

This is short-sighted and wrong.

They overlook the fact that consumers are far more likely to change their mind, view your brand positively and maybe even tell their friends (advocacy is a very powerful force) if it says ‘sorry.’

While on face value it might cost a little bit of money it is a great strategy to differentiate vs competitors.

The blogsphere is littered with stories where brands have got it wrong and suffered - see examples on a previous posting about Dell, Apple and Comcast.

I was very interested to see an article on about recent research undertaken by the Nottingham school of Economics.

They asked hacked-off eBay customers whether they would prefer some sort of monetary compensation or a simple apology....the overwhelming response was a preference for a straight apology. (Check-out the report.)

Richard Branson understands the power of an apology. There is a great story about how he handled a letter of complaint.

It isn’t rocket science or difficult. It just requires a change in attitude and culture.

If you work at brand organisation I suggest you look closely at the brand experience your customer service department is delivering and work out how to improve it...saying sorry occasionally. It will potentially be more effective than most other forms of brand communication.

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