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Avoid the Apology Tour, Be Proactive

forgive on Miscellaneous - We all make mistakes—it’s human nature. But often, how we react to those mistakes is what’s important.

That’s the focus of the third annual Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, a study examining the likelihood that a consumer will forgive a company if it makes a mistake. Advantage Rent A Car and USAA earned the most forgiveness from their customers, according to the survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers and 246 companies across 19 industries. Television service providers, internet service providers, and wireless companies ranked among the lowest.

“Forgiveness is an asset that every organization needs,” Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, said in a statement releasing the ratings last week. “Consumers are more willing to forgive companies that consistently treat them well.”

Perhaps no organization knows more about asking for forgiveness right now than JCPenney. The company has experienced a remarkable turnaround in the public eye since it fired its CEO last month after he made changes in the company’s retail stores that didn’t sit well with its customers. A strong social media campaign—with the hashtag #jcpListens—has led the charge for rehabilitation, along with TV commercials like this one:

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