The Evolving Apology

“When you lay an egg, stand back and admire it!” ~ Dale Carnegie

When things go wrong in business, it’s tempting to pretend it’s not happening, and hope folks don’t notice. According to Church of the Customer, J. Crew has taken the opposite approach, admitting their problems fron-and-center on their web site.

More interesting, perhaps, than the initial apology is the fact — pointed out by a commenter on the Church blog post — that the apology has since been shortened, with executives’ names removed. See the original apology here… and the condensed version (as of 8-4-08, anyway) here:

Which version is more effective?



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3 thoughts on “The Evolving Apology

  1. I find the more complete apology to be more effective. It’s an “I’m sorry, and I’m responsible” statement.

    The edited apology reminds me of an apology I use when I’m not sorry. “I’m sorry you were offended.” Not that I’m owning up to anything.

  2. Upon further thought, it occurs to me that both apologies leave several important questions unanswered:

    1. What are you doing to fix it?

    2. When can customers expect it to be fixed?

    3. In the meantime, if customers experience a problem, what is J. Crew going to do about it?