The Voice of the Company: how apologies turn lemons to lemonade


Share on LinkedIn

I’ve been watching with interest how Steve Jobs has responded to the very public outcry regarding the antenna problem on Apple’s new iPhone 4.

Apple has been slow to respond, allowing critics to post a number of fake blog posts quoting Steve Jobs suggestion that users “just relax” or “retire and enjoy the phone.” It’s Apple’s slowness to respond in an environment where content creation is instantaneous that created fertile ground for a little brand battering.

Finally today Apple has released its official response which indicates that it has been stunned by the antenna problem and the formula for identifying coverage.

The response was slow. It was weak. But Apple users know they can trust the fix which will likely come soon and will be reliable. They also know that in all likelihood the product shipped with a known problem. The response to Apple’s news today will probably be mixed, but in the end, the product will work as promised.

How important is an apology? Extremely. What’s the foundation for a great apology that keeps customers happy and your brand in tact? The keys seem to be transparency and responsibility. After all, who hasn’t made a mistake? We can all identify. Seth Godin collects a list of good-to-bad intentions in apologies here:

A good apology is an art and a skill, and has the power to turn an angry customer into a lifetime fan.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here