Company apologies should assume responsibility and outline a solution

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
December 13, 2019, 8:49 AM UTC

The apology must focus on stakeholders, and not the company.

This article states that an effective company apology should meet three criteria, namely, its credibility, working towards restoring goodwill with stakeholders and taking responsibility for rectifying the error. According to an article authored by Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta, companies should determine whether they are apologising for failure in “competence” or “integrity”.

In case of a competence problem, the company should take ownership and issue an apology. The apology statement should be credible and include publically available information that explains what went wrong.

To establish goodwill, organisations should keep the focus on stakeholders and not themselves, be detailed, and apologise in a timely manner. Lastly, Sucher and Gupta say that “an apology is just words” if the company doesn’t offer reparations or ensure the situation never repeats itself.

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