I’m a big fan of Chick-fil-A. I love their food, their hospitality, and their food. (I know I said that twice, but I REALLY love their food!)

I’ve never had a bad experience with Chick-fil-A’s food, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. In fact, their Facebook page often has complaints posted, like this one:

Chick-fil-A Maggots

OK, so that one is pretty extreme. However, whenever you complain, the fast food company is quick to reply and tell you how to file a formal complaint.

What happens next is pretty interesting. Without fail, Chick-fil-A’s fans rush to the company’s defense, and start asking the questions the company would never dare ask:

Chick-fil-A Raving Fans

It is true that Chick-fil-A has its fair share of determined detractors & trolls. It’s also fair to ask why the customer didn’t just complain to the manager. It’s also true that sometimes a manager is not available, or perhaps the complainant just wants their two seconds of internet fame–by making their complaint public.

Chick-fil-A is smart enough to not raise questions or point fingers publicly, without knowing the facts. It is equally smart to not prevent its loyal customer base from asking those  questions on its behalf–raising all kinds of doubt about the legitimacy of the accusation.

Lesson? As I discuss in Repped, a great reputation sits on the foundation of a strong, loyal, and loud base of raving fans. If you want to build a solid reputation, build a loyal fan base.

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