Negative feedback from customers can turn out to be a great opportunity for businesses to identify the problem areas, improve their product/service and build better connections with clients. Negative feedback should be considered as valuable suggestions to mend the gaps in your service experience and enhance your company’s image. The first step towards handling such feedback is to acknowledge your mistake, apologize to clients and thank them for pointing out issues. Responding immediately reduces frustration of customers. Many businesses use auto-emails to respond to negative feedback which further aggravates the situation, connecting personally with clients would make them feel you care about their emotions and want to fix things according to their expectations. Handling negative feedback often becomes challenging since there are customers who are hard to please but with patience and dedication you can win them over. Here are a few ways to cope with negative feedback smartly!
Whenever you receive criticism from your customers, read or listen to it carefully. Being defensive in such situations never helps, so admit your mistake and acknowledge that there is a problem. Always apologize for the inconvenience caused. Analyze the issue and see why it happened. If for instance, something went wrong due to miscommunication or lack of attention from your service staff, immediately identify this as a loophole in service and take effective steps to prevent this from happening again.
While handling negative feedback, you need to be prompt in responding to a comment, call or e-mail. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution to an issue, respond to a complaining client instantly. Don’t make a customer send the complaint/feedback again or wait for a response. Don’t send scripted responses to complaining clients, it would portray a bad image about your businesses that you are not putting in any genuine effort to address their issues. Initial communication is of vital importance when handling feedback, so make sure that you keep your response time minimal and offer solutions quickly.
Reaching out to every complaining client individually and assuring a time of resolution would help you build stronger relationships. If a client has logged a complaint on phone, you can offer a solution by saying that a service representative would visit within a few hours. If the feedback has been shared through e-mail or social media, connect with those customers and assure them that their issues would be resolved within a specific time period. Don’t over promise, offer them a realistic timeline and try your best to set things right within that period.
Always go the extra mile to resolve issues and complaints. There will be clients who have really high expectations and it can be hard to please them but doing something extra and unexpected pays off. Exceeding their expectations would make them happy and they are likely to share their experience with others. If for instance, you have received feedback regarding long service wait time, send that customer a special gift with a sorry card and a discount coupon for your new offers.
After you have resolved an issue or complaint, follow up with clients. You need to make sure they are satisfied with the solution offered. Personalize the follow up process to make customers feel that you really care about their suggestions and want them to contribute more towards improving the service experience. A personalized follow up call, e-mail or social media message would boost their confidence in your business. Always welcome suggestions and opinions from your customers even if some of them are hard to implement, make them feel an integral part of your business.
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