Does Apple’s apology create a dangerous precedent for American companies looking to make inroads in foreign markets?
From a strictly crisis response perspective, Cook’s apology covered all the bases of a corporate mea culpa: It was direct, honest, and apologetic and outlined steps to fix the problems associated with its repair policies, warranty information, training of its service providers and overall customer service.
“…We still have a lot to learn on operating and communicating in China. We hereby assure you that the commitment and enthusiasm for China from Apple is not different than any other country. Our ideal is to give the best user experience and customer satisfaction, even more it is our promise. This has been deeply rooted in Apple’s company culture. We will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal.”
In terms of communicating with a foreign audience, Apple avoided most of the obvious pitfalls. The apology was issued in Chinese, avoiding any awkward language issues. It avoided generalities that seem to only work with American audiences and it acknowledged the issue up front.