To welcome negative feedback from customers is a smart business strategy. As a customer manager, you can excel by overcoming the natural human tendency to shy away from criticism. Here are three very good reasons to be receptive to negative as well as positive feedback.
1. To retain the customer
Open feedback channels give you a chance to retain customers who have complaints. When a customer has a negative experience, they are inclined to become disillusioned about continuing to purchase the product or service. They may walk away.
With an effective feedback mechanism in place, customers feel more empowered. Just knowing they can make a complaint may encourage them to stick with your product. The healing effect of making their voice heard can do the same.
Turning sentiment around
Better still, you can respond to negative feedback by fixing the problem and achieving genuine customer satisfaction. Normally, this needs to be done quickly since waiting is a significant frustration for people wanting remedial customer service.
A customer who is prepared to complain probably has an above-average emotional investment in the purchase. If they were apathetic, they probably would be quietly walking away already. Turning their sentiment around could mean you create a loyal customer who may one day be an advocate for the product.
Achieve a sentiment transformation in an individual customer is within reach more often than people may think. It simply requires the service term to effectively substitute a negative initial experience with the memory of being listened to and ultimately receiving a good deal.
2. To improve the customer experience
Every instance of receiving negative feedback is a potential opportunity to permanently improve CX. Missing out on criticisms puts you in a blinkered setting where customers and sales are steadily drifting away.
Usually, negative feedback is about customer service and not the essential product or service being sold (Second Opinion Marketing). For example, the customer may have trouble with the billing process or contacting a helpdesk. Refining CX by acting on feedback can be a low-cost but highly effective way to boost sales.
Receiving detailed negative feedback also presents an opportunity to identify what’s stopping customers from making positive emotional connections with your product or service. Getting those emotional connections is a revenue increasing activity, and an area where hard data is often lacking.
The bottom line is that those businesses that respond to negative feedback promptly and genuinely will benefit. Those who ignore negative feedback are likely to suffer. ~ Cleverism
3. If they don’t vent to you, they may do it somewhere else
Who would you rather hear a stinging criticism of your product or service: (A) one of your company’s staff members or (B) thousands of potential customers? Obviously, it’s A. By giving customers open channels to provide feedback directly, you can help ensure that happens.
Without accessible feedback channels, frustrated customers may vent on review sites or social media. The cost to your business could be devastating.
The cost of a single negative review is generally measured in thousands of dollars or pounds. Almost all consumers are in the habit of checking brand reviews before buying. And they are influenced by those reviews. A poor review on a prominent site can be expected to turn away many prospective customers.
If a customer becomes dissatisfied, not only do you risk losing their business but also many future customers. ~ Mallory
ANDREW LANCASTER is the founder and director of UniCurve.com. He believes in intuition backed by science for getting optimal customer reactions. UniCurve publishes popular information sites for university and college students.
Try to understand their experience. And always test to see if your assumptions are working.