27 Customer Complaint Response Rewrites

Karen Inkster Vance

Activity Guidelines

Suggested Course Level

Lower level undergraduate

Activity Purpose

  • Students will identify issues with a real-life customer complaint response and rewrite the message using effective negative news writing strategies for online audiences.

Materials Required

  • Example of an online written customer complaint response that needs improvement

Activity Instructions

  1. Find an online negative customer review that has an accompanying problematic corporate response. (There are articles linked below with several examples or you can find your own.)
  2. Provide each student with a copy of this exchange.
  3. Once they have read through the situation, ask the class: What do you think is problematic with this complaint response? (Consider: tone, audience, impact on future customers).
  4. Using negative news writing strategies, have each student rewrite a more appropriate response and/or apology.

Debrief Questions / Activities

  • Ask a few students to share their rewrites with the class.

Additional Resources / Supplementary Resources

Tags: oral presentations, oral communications, audience analysis / context analysis, negative news messages, writing online, discussion, individual, creating a product or document, customer complaints, apologies, social media


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Student Engagement Activities for Business Communications Copyright © 2020 by Karen Inkster Vance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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