Brian Solis has again posted an insightful examination of crisis communication. This time he has taken a look at the iPhone price drop, the customer outrage, and Steve Jobs’ brilliant open letter response. This is particularly timely because Apple today announced the details of the $100 store credit for early purchasers of the iPhone.
Brian’s article doesn’t cover the one question that I’ve wondered about since Steve’s open letter—would Apple have been better off having the store credit ready when announcing the iPhone price drop or not?
Most of the coverage has pointed out that Apple dropped the ball when the iPhone price cut was announced by not having a plan in place for early adopters. Yet after the uproar and subsequent Apple response, Apple is seen as a company that listens and responds to its consumers. And as Brian points out, the letter “turned a negative into a business and vision discussion about how the iPhone is going to capture significant market share.”
So my question to you (and particularly to Brian) is would Apple have been better off addressing this ahead of time or has their brand and corporate image improved more by responding successfully to the upset customers? If you were at Apple and you could turn back the clock and do it over, would you?