Sorry, Justin Bieber, it’s never too late to say you’re sorry. And no one knows that better than Martin Jones, the new chief apology officer at Qualtrics. He knows that a good apology can keep a customer from getting too upset about bad service. That way, nothing needs to change.
“I make things right. Or less wrong. I make things feel less wrong,” he says, while roaming the office in a turtleneck and blazer. He oversees a team of dedicated apologizers, training them in the ways of self-effacement, bald-faced lying and, when all else fails, hanging up.
The CAO is the invention of TBWA\Chiat\Day New York in a B-to-B campaign for the experience management company. While each spot highlights some of Jones’ less-than-savory techniques, they end with a simple message: It’s better to actually fix problems than have to apologize for them.
“Companies are now on multiple platforms beyond traditional bricks and mortar, and with that comes new experience issues for customers, suppliers, and employees," said TBWA\Chiat\Day N.Y. Executive Creative Director Walt Connelly in a statement. "Many companies ignore these problems or invent a new employee title so someone else can deal with it. We found a lot of humor in the number of C-suite titles so we created the Chief Apology Officer. Why fix a customer experience problem when you can hire a CAO to apologize for them?”
David Shane via O Positive Films directs the spots, which also include Jones using some of his methods on his staff, who are alternately inspired and deflated. The campaign is running online, in audio placements on Spotify and in a paid integration on Forbes.com.