Customers Often Listen and Forgive

Happy customers are loyal customers. But what happens when “surprise and delight” is actually “surprise and incite”?

Social media has raised the stakes for brands. Customers, most often angry ones, have a forum to air their grievances. I see it constantly on Twitter, when air travel goes terribly wrong or quality falls short of expectations.

The good news is that it’s recoverable.

Brands that react swiftly, thoughtfully, and transparently are the ones who win. And by win, I mean they don’t necessarily lose customers as a result of their actions, inaction or missteps.

Recently, two retailers were seemingly insensitive to their female customers and perceived as body-shaming the very people they want to empower.

In a situation where a company was called out in one tweet that received over 48,000 likes and 6,000 comments for a product that were highly controversial to the message. Intended to bring humor but instead was seen as demeaning to women who may be overweight.

The company responded by apologizing and vowing to make the necessary change in order to rectify the situation.  Of course, not everyone in the Twitter sphere agreed with this decision. But it does show a sense of responsibility for its products and consideration for its customers.


The merchandise you sell, the partners you align with, the sites where your ads run, the people you hire, the way you respond to criticism — all of these decisions impact your customers and shape your brand identity.

Be accountable and own it!

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