Regardless of the type of business you have and the industry you work in, customer feedback is hugely important. Positive customer feedback goes a long way towards encouraging other people to choose the business over competitors, and it helps to build a flawless brand reputation. However, negative customer feedback does not have quite the same effect. This is why dealing with negative customer feedback is so important, as failing to do so could turn potential customers away and stop existing customers from choosing you again.
Receiving negative feedback is never fun, but what are the best ways of dealing with it? If you fail to properly deal with negative customer feedback, you run the risk of hindering your sales but giving your competitors a boost. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can respond to feedback swiftly and even flip it to your advantage.
Dealing with negative customer feedback in the right way
Use an online reputation management (ORM) company
Reputation management companies are there to help you stay on top of customer feedback, ensuring your reputation online is preserved and negative feedback is kept to a minimum. ORMs can help to search for negative reviews, flagging them up to your business so that you can respond quickly with a resolution. They can also provide a closed platform where your buyers can leave reviews, minimizing the chances of someone with no experience of your company leaving a fake review.
Acknowledge and apologize
One of the most important things to do is to listen to the negative customer feedback that you have received and acknowledge it, as this shows customers that you are taking what they are saying seriously. It’s important to acknowledge their opinion, apologize for any disappointment and to come up with a plan to rectify the issue. It’s difficult to build up a successful brand online if you are not seen to be acknowledging and apologizing for your mistakes, failings, and weaknesses. Plus, publicly acknowledging negative feedback shows potential customers that you are dedicated to doing right by your customers.
Resolve the problem
A lot of negative customer feedback stems from an easily solvable problem, so take the time to resolve the issue in-house. It’s tempting to ignore the little mistakes and brush negative customer feedback under the rug, but this could damage your reputation in the long run. Instead, resolve the issue and show customers that you take negative feedback seriously. Ignoring customer problems could result in the business being seen as one that doesn’t care about customer service and customer satisfaction.
Offer a discount or gift
Offering a disgruntled and dissatisfied customer a gift is a great way to provide them with a more positive impression of your business. It’s a way of asking for a second chance and a lot of the time, and it’s extremely effective. Instead of simply acknowledging the negative feedback, you are asking for a chance to change their opinion of you and show them what you are truly capable of. You could offer them a discount or free delivery, a money-off code or the chance to get something for free. It could be all it takes for the customer to use your business again and, hopefully, have a better experience.
Things you shouldn’t do when a customer leaves negative feedback
Ignore negative feedback
It may be tempting to ignore negative customer feedback, but this is certainly not advisable. Not only does ignoring negative customer feedback mean the problem remains unsolved, but it can lead to an even more dissatisfied customer. Everyone who leaves negative feedback wants to know that their comments have been taken on board. Publicly ignoring negative feedback, such as negative comments left on social media, can also portray you as a business that doesn’t take criticism well. This can damage your brand reputation.
It can be difficult to take criticism and hear negativity about a business you work so hard for but avoid becoming defensive at all costs. Instead, calmly respond to the customer and try to find a solution that works for both of you. This is where the phrase “the customer is always right” comes into play.
Play the blame game
You may not have been the person to make the mistake or the one to provide a poor customer experience, but don’t play the blame game. Rather than blaming someone else for a customer’s problem, take responsibility and focus on solving it. It’s the business as a whole that has received the feedback, not you as an individual.As you can see, there are good and bad ways to deal with negative customer feedback. Though negative customer feedback can be hard to hear, it’s important to deal with it head-on and ensure the customer feels as though their comments have been taken seriously.