The good, the bad and the ugly – handle customer comments like a pro


Knowing exactly how to handle customer comments is an important part of maintaining your brand’s reputation. We’ve gathered a few of our favourite examples of how it should be done – so there’s no reason for you to go all Clint Eastwood on the next person to give you a scathing review.

If you own, manage or work in a business, chances are at some point you will have experienced some form of customer feedback. Whether it’s a positive endorsement, a justified complaint or a downright rude remark, how to you react appropriately?

The good

Right from our childhoods we seek affirmation from those around us – parents, teachers and friends are at the centre of our quest for encouragement and approval. There’s no denying that our intrinsic pursuit for self-assurance continues into adult life. That’s why we LOVE it when someone goes out of their way to offer praise.It’s no different for brands. When given the chance to prove the fact that they are actually pretty good at what they do, why wouldn’t they shout it from the rooftops?

So, who’s doing it well?

Content contributors: Fabletics

UK-based activewear brand Fabletics offers their customers the chance to appear on their website home page, effectively giving them a spotlight and a sense that they are part of a family of happy customers. Not only that, it seamlessly generates new, regular content with barely any effort on their part – win, win!

Inspiring FOMO: City Sightseeing York

You mean 300 other people have experienced something I haven’t, AND felt compelled to write about what an excellent time they had? Of course I’m going to go and read City Sightseeing York’s TripAdvisor reviews. Curiosity and Fear Of Missing Out always gets the better of us humans.

The bad

Negative reviews – in a sea of positivity and kindness they seem to stick out like a sore thumb. What’s more, it feels a million times worse when it’s done publicly. The heart-sinking moment of spotting a damning Tweet or scathing Facebook post can make you feel like the world is ending.

But fear not, there are ways and means of dealing with complaints in a professional way, and more importantly, in a way that reflects your brand identity.

Here’s a couple of examples of brands who are killing the complaint handling game:

Kill ‘em with kindness: Innocent drinks

Is there nothing this company can’t do? They maintain a relentlessly whimsical, light-hearted tone on social media, and even their responses to complaints seem faultless and on-brand, like this one which followed the calling out of a disagreeable bottle label.

Consistency is key: Wilko

When it comes to replying to complaints online, Wilko ticks a lot of boxes. Whilst their tone and vernacular may not be ground-breaking, they are consistent in their responses. They act quickly, use personalisation when addressing customers, and their processes are always clearly detailed, showing an apparent robust procedure used by their online teams.

The ugly

Weird chickeny bits: McDonald’s

Despite years of nauseating rumours and unsupported claims that they pack ground-up chicken beaks and feet into their McNuggets, McDonalds maintain their commitment to serving 100% pure chicken meat in this much-loved snack. In fact, they made an advert to address the very fact that false information is easily shared and believed.

Complaints welcome: Channel 4

In an act of pure genius and satire, Channel 4 faced their abusers head-on with an advert designed to call out those who made discriminating comments about their TV shows and presenters. It highlighted the unpleasant nature of some of the complaints they receive and demonstrated their attitude towards handling them.

Want to know more about handling complaints on social media? Check out our previous blog on the subject right here.

Need help with social media management or want to know the best way to showcase your customer reviews? Get in touch.

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