Since my last post about a week ago https://avionod.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/great-customer-service-own-up/ I have been thinking about why is it that “owning up” works as well as I believe it does. What is it about the vendor owning up to their mistake that makes us feel that much better? It just seems to elicit a positive emotional response.
Today I was listening to The BS Report, a podcast by Bill Simmons. His guest was Chuck Klosterman, they were discussing the Tiger Woods saga. Chuck brought up the point that Tiger should come out and own up to everything he has done. He believes that this would not be PR suicide on Tiger’s part because once you’ve owned up the ball is now in the consumers court. The consumers, us, now have the choice to continue to be Tiger fans or not. Until he says something the choice isn’t ours yet, it is still Tiger’s. The longer we wait the more upset we get because we are not in control.
There it is! Makes perfect sense!
As long as the vendor/athlete stays silent we sit there waiting for a response or communication from them. We don’t feel like we can act until they do. Once they make their statement the onus is now on us to make a decision (onus = on us) as to how we want to respond, but it is in our court. At least we feel some sense of ownership for the next steps. We can decide to maintain the relationship or walk, but either way it’s up to us. As long as we feel like we are in control of the next steps we emotionally feel better. If they do not respond the issue continues to boil up in us and creates even more animosity then the original event.