Customer Experience

Don't ignore negative customer feedback

March 2019

As much as we’d love to always have satisfied customers all of the time the reality is that it probably won’t happen. There can be many reasons why it won't happen. You could have genuine issues in your customer experience that need addressing; a process or system may have let you down; interaction through one of your channels may not be as frictionless as you thought; or the customer may have just woken up on the wrong side of bed and been ready to tell someone about it.

Whatever the reason the important thing is that you take negative feedback as a learning opportunity. Ultimately it's a gift to your business - your customer has cared enough about your brand or the (admittedly negative) experience they received to express their feelings about your product or service. This gives you more information than you started - information that can help you understand that customer and of course to improve the future experience.

Let's think about how to respond to that negative customer feedback.

Don't ignore it!

Believe me it's tempting but if you ignore the feedback you miss a valuable opportunity to improve or make good on the customer's negative experience. Your customer is more likely to accept a quick and heartfelt apology but when you ignore negative reviews they can take on a life of their own with today's social media generation sharing the negative comments and adding their own feedback, risking turning things into a much bigger issue. When you do respond it is important not to be defensive and to give yourself just a little time to respond in an appropriate way. If you are responding via social media then be aware that other people will see your comments and this may lead to further negative comment.

Respond thankfully

Respond with thanks with a respectful and genuine message. Think it through from the perspective of your customer and give them the response that you yourself would expect to receive. Don't shift the blame to another department or company. it might be someone else’s fault, but remember that your customer was depending on your company, and in this case you are the face of your company in giving the feedback. Often the best thing you can do is to quickly apologise for the poor experience and provide your support email address, telling the customer that you'll do whatever you can to resolve the situation.

Be authentic

Customers want to know that an actual human has taken their complaint seriously enough to respond to them individually. Be as authentic as possible in your reply. Try not to use stock responses or a generic response that at worst might frustrate a customer further. Try and keep your replies real, conversational and honest, but clearly not too honest! This isn't the place for sarcasm or humour that might be misinterpreted.

Address the root cause issue

People who leave negative reviews want to be heard and want their issue resolved. Negative feedback is a direct guide that can help you improve your business. When customers aren’t satisfied give them reasons they should give your business another chance. Once you’ve responded publicly online, if it's appropriate consider making an effort to contact the customer personally. Ensure that the customer is happy with the steps that you have taken to rectify what they thought wasn't right. Show your customers that you are committed to delivering the best services or products or experience.

Get On My Way

We built On My Way to allow customers to see all the information they need to know about their planned service appointment. This includes appointment address, time and delivery window, technician name and their badge ID and photograph alongside the real-time location of the service engineer shown graphically on a live map.

On My Way also lets you get direct feedback from customers who have used the service. This feedback is taken during the service transaction itself, whilst the customer is viewing and interacting with On My Way and waiting for their service engineer to arrive.

Why not take a look and speak to us for more information.

Our Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
News From Our Blog

Related Posts

Laurence Cramp

Going beyond the postcode

Postcodes were originally developed and adopted in the UK between 1959 and 1974. More recent approaches like What3Words and Google plus codes are trying to assign more accurate, meaningful geospatial locations. This blog considers why.

Laurence Cramp
Customer Experience

CX and personalised chocolate

I was interested to read in recent press releases about Nestlé's plans to develop “luxury handcrafted” versions of its well known chocolate KitKat bar, expected to be one of this year’s must-have Christmas presents. We draw some lessons about personalisation and brand value.

Laurence Cramp
Customer Experience

Invest in customer experience

Whilst CX transformation may be part of continuous improvement in your organisation it has likely come about through a focused programme. We consider how you can sustain momentum and ensure ongoing investment to keep improving your CX.

View all the latest blog posts
We draw on over 16 years’ experience of working with 60+ leading industry brands to improve their service-based operations.