Trust is a big factor in our relationships — whether they are person-to-person relationships or customer-to-firm relationships. And apologies may help engender trust.
Recently, a marketing-oriented research study looked at apologetic behavior and trust. As reported by Suzanne Lucas for CBS Money Watch:
“A new study by Alison Brooks (Harvard), Hengchen Dai (University of Pennsylvania), and Maurice E. Schweitzer (University of Pennsylvania), showed that people were much more likely to lend a stranger their cell phone when the stranger first apologized for the rain – something that was clearly outside of his control. The difference was significant: Only 9 percent of strangers handed over their phones without the apology, but 47 percent did when the person apologized. The study also looked at apologizing for a computer override, and another cell phone situation, this time with a delayed flight. In all cases, apologizing for something that was clearly not the person’s fault resulted in more willingness to cooperate and higher trust ratings.”
Click the image to read more at BPS Research Digest.