Simple Apology Worth More Than Money

Researchers at the Nottingham School of Economics have confirmed that an apology is worth more than actual money. The study followed a large wholesaler that sells goods on eBay. They tracked negative online comments and responded to these complaints. In half of the responses they offered a brief apology and nothing else. The other half were offered a “goodwill gesture” of a small cash rebate ($3-$8).

All of the complaining customers were then asked to remove the negative online comments. For those offered the rebate, the negative comment had to be removed to receive the cash.

The result? Approximately 45% of the customers who received an apology withdrew their negative comments. Only 21% of those offered money removed their negative comments.

Lesson:  Good manners go farther than money in terms of persuasion. And good manners are free.

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