How to Respond to Criticism to Improve Your Brand Image

by Game Marketing Genie, on 18-Jun-2020 10:10:12

A huge portion of the worldwide population uses the internet daily. And when customers feel they have been wronged, it is easy for them to go online and air their frustrations. As part of the gaming industry, it is more than likely that the vast majority of your audience spends much of their time online. With research from Bright Local showing that 84 percent of people trust online reviews when making purchase decisions, it is important to ensure that your players positively review your game. 

However, this will not always be the case, and you will find yourself getting negative reviews and criticism from time to time. How you respond to this will affect how your game is perceived by the public, and in this blog post, we share helpful ways to react to negative user feedback to boost your brand image.

Why is responding to feedback important?

A study by Accenture found that 52 percent of customers changed providers because of poor customer service. The same study goes on to estimate that about $1.6 trillion is lost because of this. Your gaming business likely cannot give up any of its revenue like these companies, and that is why you need to give your customers a good experience across the board.

Responding to feedback in a helpful manner is one way of providing great customer service. Other than solving a specific problem, you show other gamers that you value their time and money.

In this post, we will show you how to respond appropriately to online criticism, but before we do that, let’s take a look at the different forms of online criticism.

Bad reviews

Bad reviews are published on platforms like Amazon or Yelp by legitimate customers who are not pleased by a company’s service. Their reviews may not capture the entire situation correctly, but they are airing their frustration about real issues that they have experienced with a product, customer support or something else.


Trolls are inflammatory and off-topic comments made to get you to respond negatively. They are meant to harm your reputation, so you need to be careful about how you respond to similar hurtful comments. This is very common in the gaming world and you’ve likely heard of this occurring in multiplayers games and on forums. Comments like these should not be taken to heart.


Threats are statements made to show an intent to inflict pain or damage. These statements have no real value to your business.

Before responding to any of these forms of criticism, you need to ask yourself these three questions to help you decide the most appropriate action.

  • Is this valid criticism?

If it isn’t, then don’t waste your time giving a response. Use your time for other productive things. If the criticism is valid, admit your mistake and work to get the issue rectified.

  • Do they want to get a negative response out of me?

Trolls just want you to respond to their attacks. Ignore them and move on.

  • How do I de-escalate the situation?

As a brand, you need to take control of the situation and give helpful and genuine feedback. Don’t give negative responses or take a defensive stance. Make sure the client feels listened to and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Person talking with laptop on desk

How to respond to criticism

Now that you know the different forms of online criticism, let’s take a look at the best strategies to respond to criticism to help you maintain a positive brand image online.

View it as an opportunity to show your brand’s helpfulness and responsiveness by offering a solution

Game marketing experts recommend this response in situations where your brand could have done better to enhance the user experience. Acknowledge any wrongdoing if you exercised poor judgment or made an error. Make no excuses.

If you are in a position to solve the customer’s problem, do it immediately to their satisfaction. If it will take time to deal with the issue, let them know in advance and get back to them when you sort things out. This strategy shows that you are responsive to your gamer’s needs, and it will help you avoid deterring any new players.

Colorful balloons in the air

Respond to the good things they have to say about your brand/service/product and then respond to the criticism

If a user complaint includes positive feedback about your game as well as some negative points, then you’ve been presented with the ideal format in which you can respond to a complaint. As the title suggests, you should first note their positive comments, thanking them for what they said, and then move onto any negative points they had. With this tactic, you will be able to reinforce your game’s USP as well as solve their issue.

Most client complaints are posted on public forums, and starting your response on a positive note allows you to remind other users that your game is still a great choice for them.  But many companies forget that their response to online criticism can carry more weight with other potential buyers than the original poster. That is why you need to use every opportunity to share the positive aspects of your brand and show that your brand is authentic and focused on the needs of its audience.

Don’t forget to solve the original poster’s problem to prevent the situation from escalating any further.

Opposite signals on sign

Respond humorously

Humor is another great tool that you can use to respond to online criticism. Note that the use of humor will depend on the type of brand you run, and it won’t be suited to most if it doesn’t meet your brand image. If you have a professional image to maintain, keep your responses short and professional.

However, if the complaint isn’t overly serious, and your brand identity allows it, humor is a fantastic way to diffuse a tense situation. People are generally online to have a good time and most, especially the young generation, will identify with your humorous responses.

However, you should ensure not to make fun of the customer when giving your responses to prevent them from becoming targeted by online trolls. Your customers should feel valued and your responses should leave them with nothing but positive feelings about your brand.

Assess the situation and the poster, and if your brand image allows it, make a humorous comment for potential customers to see.

Response to feedback for a business

However, this is an example of a humorous comment that did actually poke some fun at the user, and seemed to work in the restaurant’s favor. We do not recommend this tactic unless it works for your brand and you can ensure that it will not backfire for you.

Thank them for their feedback and leave it at that

Apply this strategy when users leave inaccurate or abusive complaints and there’s nothing you can do to soften the situation. People sometimes use the internet to post inaccurate information about people and brands because they can do so without immediate implications.

When your brand becomes a target for these people, thank them for their feedback and move to other things. This shows that you have acknowledged the review and it lets other people know that you are paying attention. Any credit that the bad reviews may have had is immediately swept away and this will help you gain favor with potential clients.

Thank you printed from typewriter in various languages

Respond to help future customers

Customers can sometimes be very rude, and there is nothing you can do to appease them. If you can’t ignore them, humbly reply to their comments to acknowledge that you’ve received the criticism. Reinforce your company truth, but don’t be rude yourself as you may be playing into their hands. People who make childish comments are doing it for fun, and if you give rude replies to their hurtful criticism, they will engage you in useless arguments that will not benefit your brand in any way.

Your best bet is to apologize to the customer for any inconvenience you may have caused. As we mentioned before, those who come across the complaint and your response will be impressed by how you handled the situation, and this will help you attract more people to your brand. In essence, your polite response to hurtful comments is an opportunity to show future customers how caring and responsive your brand is.

Friends sitting together with linked arms

Ignore or remove the criticism if it is offensive or is spreading false information that would bring harm to others, or is irrelevant to your brand

We don’t ever recommend deleting feedback but sometimes if it’s offensive to others, would put someone at risk or is sharing information that is unrelated to your brand (i.e. posting suspicious links or copy-pasted messages) this might be the best advice. As you know by now, childish comments want you to lose your temper and bring yourself down to the poster’s level. In this case, overlook the rude comments and move on.

Some users may also spam the comment section of your social media posts with information that is not related to your brand. They could be leveraging your popularity to promote their businesses or posting spam links to trap unsuspecting users. Delete these comments to prevent your followers from getting directed to harmful websites. You have a duty to keep your social space safe for all, and eliminating harmful and irrelevant comments is a positive step in this direction.

Red fence with locks on it

Social media is your key to game marketing success!

With the right strategy, social media can make your brand stand out among the masses and help you grow into a leading figure in your industry. Get all the tips you need to know in our ultimate guide here: Your Must-Have Guide for Social Media Marketing!

Responding to negative feedback can be difficult. The criticism could be from genuine customers or bullies, and how you respond will affect how other users perceive your brand. Without the right plan, you may end up giving wrong responses that will push potential customers away from your brand. 

To prevent this from happening, our gaming marketing agency can help you come up with social game marketing strategies that maintains your brand image while making the best move for your game.

Get in touch today for consultations with our marketing experts on how to respond appropriately to the online criticism of your business.

Topics:Social Media MarketingDigital Marketing StrategySocial Media Marketing Strategy

Book in a free consultation