Peter Roper The Family Business Man
Member driven, encouraging, supportive, educational
Experience on hand when you need it
One big family
Relevant and timely event programme

What lengths would you go to as a brand to respond to a customer complaint?

What lengths would you go to as a brand to respond to a customer complaint?

Well, The North Face were faced with this problem when a lady went viral on TikTok when her North Face jacket didn’t keep her dry on a hike.

Trouble was she was in the middle of nowhere and very wet!


Their response? Within 5 days they hand delivered her a brand new jacket in the mountains by helicopter! When a brand encounters a customer complaint, especially one that gains significant attention on social media platforms like TikTok, it's crucial to respond effectively and positively. The North Face's response to the issue with a non waterproof jacket is a prime example of taking customer service to the next level.

Here's how a brand could approach such situations: 

Acknowledge and Apologise: The initial step is to recognise the issue and offer a genuine apology. This demonstrates to the customer and the wider audience that the brand acknowledges and cares about the problem.

Quick and Effective Response: Responding rapidly is essential. The North Face’s response within just 5 days showcases the importance of swift action in controlling the narrative and addressing the customer’s concerns.

Go the Extra Mile: The North Face didn't just replace the faulty product; they delivered a new jacket in an extraordinary and memorable manner – via helicopter in the mountains. This approach not only solved the problem but created an engaging story that resonated with a wider audience.

Leverage Social Media: The North Face’s response generated a significant positive buzz on social media. The TikTok video gained 3.9 million views and 78,000 likes, demonstrating the power of turning a negative situation into a positive and shareable experience.

Prioritise the Customer: Their approach was completely customer-centric. It wasn’t merely about rectifying a product flaw; it was about making the customer feel valued and important.

Learn from the Feedback: Utilising the feedback to enhance products and services is crucial. It indicates that the brand is not just reactive but also committed to ongoing improvement.

Transparency: Being transparent about the actions taken to solve the issue fosters trust and reliability. This can be especially influential when shared publicly, as seen in The North Face’s case.

In summary, handling customer complaints in the digital age, particularly when they gain public attention, requires a combination of authenticity, promptness, creativity, and a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction.

This strategy can transform a potential negative incident into a positive outcome, thus improving the brand's image and fostering customer loyalty. The remarkable statistics of views and likes in The North Face's case underline the impact of such an approach.

So how do you respond to a negative situation in your business?

Let us know…

Until the next time…
Back to list