Is negative customer feedback a bad thing?
Some people become defensive and sensitive when their customers complain but we believe negative feedback can be a golden opportunity to engage with the customer and win loyalty.
The key to using negative feedback in a positive way is to deal with it efficiently and professionally and to take advantage of an opportunity to engage with customers.
Several of our clients deploy the Feedback Ferret Voice of Customer solution, in particular our task manager module, simply to help them turn unhappy customers into happy ones.
Take Eurocamp, for example. They sifted out the negative comments from the verbatim feedback they received and proactively called those customers to empathise with their sentiments. These customers need to be handled carefully as you are dealing with their emotions. But if you can demonstrate superior customer service skills and follow up on their concerns, you will more often than not retain their loyalty for years to come.
As a result of using the Feedback Ferret technology, Eurocamp increased the re-bookings from this group of “unhappy” customers by 400%!
I am pleased to say we are not the only ones to think this. I read this blog a few years ago but it very succinctly explains why embracing negative feedback is so important in business today.
Hugging the Cactus: Why Businesses Should Value Negative Customer Feedback
When there is customer feedback, whether it be positive or negative, this means that the customer is concerned about the business and how it can maintain its peak or strive to gain power in the industry. For instance, a new milk tea shop has opened and customers find their concoctions too sweet. When the shop owners do not listen or just ignore the negative comment, they might continue creating the drinks with the same level of sweetness and the number of customers will be reduced soon. On the other hand, when they try to lessen the sugar or offer customers the option to choose the amount of sugar to be placed in their drinks, the business will be able to sustain their customers in the long run.
Feedbacks are gifts to a business because these can help them improve their current operations, services and offerings and eliminate the unpleasant. They are pieces of ideas to compel them to make it right. By driving company actions by these testimonials, the company would know how to react to customers next time and not repeat the same mistakes only to receive the same negative comments.
Venting out their issues is one way of customer relationship and interaction with them. Businesses should learn that winning against customers in arguments is not the point after receiving negative feedback. Knowing how to respond to these irate complainers is what counts. Examine the critical information it contains and discover the gem of truth in them. Think as if you’re in the customer’s shoes and get every bit of their valuable insights to see how you can meet their demand.
Without giving them anything in return, when customers complain about the product or service from your company, they feel special. It does not matter if they are voicing out positive or negative concerns. What’s important is they know that someone on the other end is engaging with them and hearing what they have to say. Their opinion suddenly becomes important, as company staff will think of ways to solve the problem or look for ways to improve in a timely fashion.
Businesses should in no way think of negative feedback as something personal. They should be reminded that these feedbacks are tests to their professionalism. If a business tries to compete with the high level of voice and gravity of the customer’s frustrations, it will just be losing its charisma and customers would not want to be back anymore. Being professional can dramatically curtail the instances of negativism and turn every customer’s frown to a smile.
Think that negative feedbacks are your golden opportunities to improve. Obviously, they sting, especially when you get to deal with customers who give negative comments at great lengths and even expose these to social media and the vast public domain. Since you know that you are facing their emotions, be careful at how you handle them. Professionalism reflects how committed you are at correcting things and demonstrating good customer service to win your customer’s hearts. Go the extra mile to follow up their concerns as well. You have to let them know that you have acted well upon the criticisms and have the ability to showcase improvement beyond their expectation to satisfy them.
If a business is able to address bad responses from their clients effectively, they can turn them into great progresses in the company. And this can lead to a successful implementation of change that improves their overall reputation in the public. Through time, when customers know that their reviews are appreciated, as much as satisfaction in the offerings of a company will grow, these customers will also stay loyal to a brand knowing that there contribute to its success by giving feedback. Turn the negative to positive and keep them following your brand and become advocates of it.
If you would like to know more about how Feedback Ferret can help you hug your cactuses, please get in touch!
by Nicola Douglas, Head of Sales & Marketing