Ask anyone about the secret to a good relationship and you might get an earful about how important it is to apologize. You have to own up to your mistakes, apologize sincerely, and then make changes. Interestingly enough, the relationship between companies and customers works almost exactly the same way. When KIND bars came under scrutiny recently by the FDA over a few of their snacks possibly not being healthy, they owned up to the mistake right away.

That's not quite the case with the apologies below. They rank as some of the worst "my bad" moments, as listed by Keith Pearce, VP of corporate marketing at call center giant Genesys. Which one seems the most disingenuous to you?

1. The Long Hair Don't Care

This tactic means you have an attitude of "no apologies" even if you apologize in public. The best example of this is when Mike Jeffries, the former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, said he was sorry for fat-shaming plus-size customers. Sort of. It's an example of a company issuing a formal apology without really addressing the problem.

2. The Tone-Deaf Robot

Kmart is a good example of how this one works. On Black Friday last year, the company sent automated tweets to anyone who complained about policies. It's an easy way for customers to spot a lack of personalization, since Twitter posts are public.

3. The Sorry, I'm Not Sorry

In July last year, Facebook started experimenting with its news feed to see how people reacted emotionally. The company's non-apology was essentially a way to admit it had communicated about the study poorly but didn't really apologize for the study itself.

4. The Slow Drip

Uber went through a series of highly publicized failures, including one that involved spying on journalists. When Travis Kalanick, the CEO, finally did apologize, it was in a series of 14 tweets that were not exactly a formal way to own up to the mistakes.

5. The Radio Silence

Genesys did not give a specific example of how this one works, but it is incredibly common. Many companies do not track complaints on Twitter. In fact, Genesys says only 33 percent of companies respond at all to customer issues on social networks. All you hear are crickets.

Published on: Jun 5, 2015
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