Negative customer feedback – 5 guidelines for the enterprise
Negative customer feedback is something every company should be prepared for. What counts though is the correct response. Ignorance for one is an absolute no-go. Customer feedback is no one way street, so you need to react in every single case. A disappointed customer often switches suppliers without making a fuss about it. So if you get criticized, then all hope is not lost and you get another chance to act on it. Reclaim your customer!
Business & user reviews
Let’s be clear that criticism is usually a snapshot of your performance, which should also be conveyed to your customers. Accept their criticism and signal that their opinion is valued. This will leave a lasting impression. Start by looking at the situation from an objective vantage point. Try not to feel personally attacked and instead learn to accept your customer’s opinion. With that in mind admittedly not every criticism will be constructive.
Acting on customer feedback the right way – 5 tips
If you want to face criticism in a more relaxed way, we recommend following these guidelines.
Tip 1: Actively listen to your customer. Regard customer opinion as helpful and don’t shy away from negative reviews.
Tip 2: To what extent is a point of criticism still valid? Consider every opinion in earnest until you get a sense for which ones are constructive and which ones were submitted purely out of frustration. In each case you should respond and react if necessary. That’s how you strengthen your customer relations and build up trust in the long term.
Tip 3: Question the review’s finer details in order to evaluate how grave the criticism is. Or just elicit alternatives like what specifically they wish should be changed. This way you will get some background knowledge of how your product or service is used and how to better adjust it. Furthermore you show that you care.
Tip 4: Look for a suitable solution and offer a compromise where possible. How about a voucher for their next purchase? Or simply surprise your customer with something unexpected. He or she will be delighted for having been taken serious and consequently talk about you in a positive fashion.
Tip 5: After having received a piece of feedback, your response should be swift. So follow it up with actions especially in the case of negative feedback, to show your customer that you’re really interested in improving your offering. View it as a chance for progression. Find your strengths and (more importantly) your weaknesses. Aim higher!
Customer feedback influencing product development
Customer complaints can lead to new ideas. They can initiate the development of auxiliary services and products, which complement what you’re already selling. Integrate customer feedback in your product or service development to further align it with your customers’ needs. You can’t get better direct feedback from anywhere or anybody else.
Don’t wait for negative feedback
You can preempt negative feedback by creating a compelling product in the first place. Don’t wait for complaints to come to you, try to stay ahead of your customers’ ever changing demands. This can be achieved, for instance, by anonymous customer surveys. Don’t fear your customers! Seek out their opinion in an active and passive way. Once you try that, you will be surprised by how much information you get out of it.
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Don’t wait for negative feedback