3 Times Brands Turned Bad Customer Experience in Viral Social Success and 1 Brand That Didn’t

3 min read

Even the best products and brands mess up from time to time when it comes to customer experience. But as a consumer, what we are immune to more and more are the responses. ‘We are sorry for your inconvenience’ is something I experienced just last week personally that left me feeling quite frankly invisible.

I want to show you 4 quick examples of how you can do this with your own team, 3 great, 1 awful. Let’s start with the awful.

Here is the Broadway Hotel, Blackpool. A couple from the UK stayed in this hotel and they left this 1-star review on trip advisor.


The hotel had a clause in its reservation agreement, saying if you leave negative comments online they can fine the tourists $100. And they did it.

Pause for dramatic effect….

So the clients went to the press and I’m sure you can guess what happened next.


And when you consider 88% of consumers check online before they make reservations, this is what they are going to find about this hotel.

Now I can stop being captain obvious and show you how some brands are doing it right.

Virgin Trains

Adam is a teenager traveling on the train from London to Glasgow. Now as you can see it’s a funny situation with a lack of toilet paper. But what few people consider, is that is a poor user experience served by Virgin. They should have fully supplied restrooms.

However, because Virgin was listening, and they instantly responded. They sent a team member right over, they turned this into a social win with over 1400 shares.

virgin trains


Skyscanner’s system failed this user when it gave him a 413,786-hour layover between flights.


That’s 47 years between flights. Not ideal for even the most experienced long haul traveler. However, alongside fixing the issue for the user, Skyscanner also replied in a very human manner.

Jen from Skyscanner decided to give some ideas of what do to during the layover. A system error + human response gained sky scanner 7,500 likes and some amazing customer feedback.


Tesco gave one food shopper a very poor situation by selling them a cucumber with a worm inside.


The customer decided to make Tesco aware of this in a rather funny tone, however expecting a response all the same.


I can’t think of a worse situation than buying a cucumber with a worm inside, however, Tesco’s social team responded like this.


No discounts, no big corporate apology. Now many of you most likely think this kind of response is risky, however, 27,720 likes should put your mind at easy that the consumers agreed with this type of reply.

How to Quickly Spot Customers Seeking Help?

You can use a social media monitoring tool like Brand24. Then, you can monitor in real time all relevant conversations to your business and spot among them consumers seeking help. It allows your immediate reaction.

Here’s more about how social media monitoring can help you run your customer service department.

If you already feel like that’s what you need, sign up for a free trial.

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