When is a happy customer not a happy customer?

Have you ever felt really bad about giving negative customer feedback to a brand you love?

Clients sometimes contact us to see whether there is an error with the Feedback Ferret system. The reason? They had received negative feedback comments from several customers who had had left very positive overall customer satisfaction scores.

This is actually a very common occurrence; you get a customer that is generally really happy, but still has suggestions about how things could be improved.

It’s hardly surprising when you think about it. Your happiest customers are the ones that are highly motivated to help you improve the product or service they already value. Negative customer feedback from happy customers who give you high ratings should be seen as constructive criticism. These are your customer evangelists, your brand advocates, with a vested interest in your product or service. They deserve to be listened to very carefully indeed.

Some brands only take notice of the feedback comments from customers that leave dissatisfied customer satisfaction scores and, in doing so, miss out on a fantastic opportunity to truly improve customer satisfaction on a wider level.

Looking at scores alone is a quick route to one-dimensional thinking and complacency because scores just don’t tell you the full story. You miss out on ideas and issues suggested by your happiest customers.

Verbatim comments require thought and effort and are therefore always more useful to a company that just a score. An angry and dissatisfied customer may rate 3/5 instead of 1/5 if they’re just trying to rush through your form. But there’s no way they can type a negative (or indeed a positive) verbatim comment without putting thought into it.

So no matter what rating a customer gives you, make sure you listen to ALL their feedback comments on how they feel about their experience. Then use it to improve customer satisfaction and make the service they receive even better.