It is unavoidable: negative customer feedback is something which happens even to the best of us. It happens to small, local businesses, as well as to multinational companies. Nowadays customers are more vocal about their experiences than ever. And above all, this includes negative experiences with your products or services. Nevertheless, don’t despair! Negative feedback can be turned into positive if you follow our easy steps below:
The first step is to monitor what is being said about you on the web. Make sure you know:
- Who is saying it: customer, employee, competitor, vendor, etc.
- What are they saying: complaints, suggestions to improve, etc.
- Where are they saying it: social media, on your website, feedback form, survey, etc.
Make sure you are tracking mentions of your company on all the main social channels, blogs and Google.
2. Analyze conversations
The second step is to understand not only what is being said, but also why? If a customer has had a negative experience, consider what happened and what you can do to improve. Was it your fault or a misunderstanding? In any case, keep your calm and think about what solution you can offer to your customer. Consider your customer’s experience in general, what they complained about and how they went about expressing this complaint. This will give you some understanding about what type of customer you dealing with and where your company went wrong. Make sure you prioritize big problems over small, however always address all concerns your customers might have and think about ways of turning them around.
3. Make a change
The main positive stemming from negative customer feedback is that it gives you an insight into what you customers truly dislike about your company! And this might not be something you want to hear or something you are aware of. When a customer complaint is legitimate, you need to address it as soon as possible. Why, you might ask? A study from 2011 performed by RightNow found out that when customers receive a reply to their complaints, 46% say that they are pleased by this and a whopping 22% actually changed their negative feedback to positive! And those numbers increase dramatically if you actually take responsibility and make a change based on the feedback you have received!
Therefore, spend some quality time fixing the problem, even if it means taking a step back and redesigning your product, adding additional services or giving more detailed information to assist your users. And always remember why you are doing this: keeping an existing customer is much easier than looking for a new one. Take this a step further and turn your customers into brand ambassadors and watch your business grow!