A round of applause for Tesco – here’s how to deal with customer complaints… #RIPWilliamTheWorm

The way a business chooses to deal with a complaint on social media says a lot about them as a brand. Over the years, we’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly – and now, we’ve seen the genius.

We want to give a Bloomin’ Creative standing ovation to Tesco, for their 10/10 response to a customer finding a dead worm wrapped around a cucumber. The conversation between Tesco and the customer has gone viral, with 40,000 shares and counting.

It began when Yorkshire man Wes Metcalfe bought a cucumber from the store and discovered a worm wedged inside the packaging. Mr Metcalfe’s complaint no doubt brought a smile to the Tesco’s social media team, as he joked about naming the worm William, losing his taste for cucumber sandwiches and cheekily referencing the story about a deadly spider being discovered on an Aldi banana.

As well as an apology and a £10 gift voucher, Tesco responded with an equally tongue-in-cheek reply, offering An Ode to William – to be read out at the funeral of the now-famous worm.

Although life takes funny turns, we can all learn from William the worm.

Let us gather, light a candle to burn, and celebrate the life of William the worm.

Lights shine bright, let’s eat sponge cake through the night! Because there’s many a lesson to learn.

He wriggles many miles; he gave us many smiles, so we stand confident and firm…

William will be back, very much like Arnie, though now we will all check before we make a sarnie!

The conversation continued further when Mr Metcalfe shared a picture of William the Worm’s grave and another poem.

But just when it couldn’t get much better and Tesco’s marketing team probably thought Christmas had come early, they went on to swap their own interpretations of Wonderwall by Oasis and Blur’s Parklife (renamed Worm Life).

Since it was posted, the conversation has had 40,000+ shares and attracted over 10,000 comments.

Of course, if Tesco had simply offered a bog-standard apology, this would’ve just been another average, everyday customer complaint. But their personal, cheeky and quite frankly hilarious response goes to show that sometimes it’s worth getting creative and doing things differently. As Mr Metcalfe says, “I think Tesco have more than made up for it. If people can laugh about it all, then that is great, there is enough seriousness in the world.”

If you would like advice and guidance about all aspects of public relations and reputation management, including dealing with customer complaints, we’re a full-service PR agency based in Cumbria and would be more than happy to help.

(Although we don’t have any experience in writing poems about worm funerals, we’d happily give it a go!)

If you fancy getting creative and doing things differently, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, email danielle@bloomincreative.co.uk to arrange a free consultation.

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