Monday, January 30, 2012

Does an Apology Have a Market Value?

A fascinating article on the art of the apology offered this tidbit:

A trio of researchers . . . used the German eBay website to conduct a real-world experiment. Via e-mail, they contacted 632 customers who gave a neutral or negative evaluation of a transaction. One-third of the unhappy customers received a message that included the sentence: “I would like to apologize and ask whether you might withdraw your evaluation.” The others were offered, in place of expression of regret, either 2.5 or 5 euros “as a goodwill gesture.” Writing in the journal Economics Letters, the researchers report nearly 45 percent of those given the apology withdrew their evaluation, compared to only 21 percent of those offered cash. A direct apology: priceless.

Steve Clowney

(HT: The Daily Dish)

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