It's one of those oft stated marketing truism that customers whose problems are addressed are more loyal than those who have never had any problems. But what this doesn't factor in is the 'how' of answering complaints, which can be the difference between a positive and negative reaction.
As I know from personal experience.
Both are 'premium' brands, with a style/tone to them that makes you think they would do customer service well.
So let's compare and contrast.
We buy Rocks very frequently - probably a bottle of their blackcurrant squash a week. Because it just tastes better than anything else out there. And we have bought it for a many years. Super loyal, super heavy - the perfect consumers in fact.
Then, last year, we had a problem. On opening a new bottle, there was a slight release of pressure (as you get with something lightly carbonated). We thought nothing of it. But over the course of that week the drink effectively fermented (and probably turned alcoholic as well, judging from the smell!). Basically, it was an unfortunate (and, from experience, occasional) consequence of using no preservatives in your products (something to be encouraged, after all).
So we wrote Rocks an email: long term customer, love the product, bit surprised, thought you'd like to know, that kind of thing. We didn't get all 'outraged of Tumbridge Wells', nor did we demand compensation.
And nothing much happened for a few weeks.
Then we received a note back, somewhat grudging in its apology which, whilst not coming out and directly saying it, was clearly implying the problem was probably something to do with how we had treated the product (and there I was thinking the customer was always right!). But despite this, they promised to send a £5 voucher anyway. Which then took another couple of weeks to arrive.
Compare this with Gu.
Last Sunday, as a family treat, we had a 3 pack of their genache pots, only to be disappointed on opening to find just 2 (selflessly, I went without!). A similar email was dispatched that evening. The next day we had an apologetic reply, with no attempt to justify or shift blame . And, on Tuesday, £7 worth of vouchers arrived (a relatively bigger amount than proffered by Rocks, given unit price), a very nice letter, and a little presentation box with a Gu dessert spoon - sweet if nothing else.
Which is how to do it.
So Rocks, take note: we are weekly purchaser - just think of the lifetime value you might have lost. Yes, we still buy you, but only as the product is so good (so better not let the quality slip). But I'm not sure we really like you quite as much anymore. And we do tell the fermenting product story quite frequently to other people.
Gu on the other hand: we love you even more now, and are looking forward to buying our replacement pots. I'm sure we will also tell others how nice you are as well. And we may even start buying you more often than as an occasional treat as a consequence. All for £7 and a little spoon.
So remember - it's not what you do it's the way that you do it.