Many businesses fail to realize the value of negative customer feedback. While this type of feedback is not always desired, it is definitely useful information that can be used in a multitude of ways. It is the companies that take advantage of this and other opportunities for growth that soar past their competition and achieve optimal success.
Make Customer Service a Priority
Businesses that provide excellent customer service quickly become recognized as being companies that are honest, trustworthy, and of high integrity. They are the kind of companies that consumers want to do business with.
Good customer service puts the customer first in every way possible. This includes making the brick-and-mortar store more customer-friendly as well as making websites more user-friendly. Assistance provided to customers is not only courteous, it is provided by trained professionals that can answer questions and more.
Companies with websites can provide excellent customer service around the clock, making it possible for consumers to receive customer care when it is requested – not according to “store hours.” This can put these companies ahead of brick-and-mortar businesses, which often force patrons to shop and do business according to the store’s schedule.
When it comes to business development ideas and moving forward, all areas of customer service are a major concern. This includes routine questions customers ask about products and services, product returns, complaints, or other negative feedback. Savvy businesses not only work to resolve the immediate problem, they also take measures to ensure the problem will not happen repeatedly.
Don’t Just Put Out Fires
The role of customer service representatives is to work with customers to resolve any problems and to ensure customer satisfaction. Some companies refer to this as “putting out fires.” However, when negative feedback is used in this manner, it is actually wasted. It’s as if the company is playing a never-ending game of Whack-A-Mole. There will always be moles to hit. Unless real action is taken, some fires or problems will continue to pop up indefinitely.
On the other hand, if negative feedback is analyzed and used to develop new systems that prevent problems from developing in the future, there will be fewer problems to deal with. Reacting to and using negative feedback in a positive way is how a business can turn what appears to be a negative into a positive.
Rather than shying away from the feedback, it is important to take control of the situation and turn things around – first by making things right for the customer, and then by making improvements for the company. This ensures a brighter future for the business and its customers.
Top Tips for Using and Reacting To Negative Customer Feedback
No matter how good a company, product, or service is, eventually someone is likely to complain about some aspect of it. Although the goal is to get positive feedback, negative comments are not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, they can be very helpful.
Below are some tips and ideas for constructive ways to react to and use negative feedback.
1) Respond to the feedback immediately and resolve the situation as soon as possible.
2) Go a step beyond what is expected. For example, in addition to providing a full refund, it is also a good idea to include a special discount offer or other savings. This encourages a continued relationship, and it shows a sense of friendliness.
3) Use the negative feedback for training purposes. Most companies record calls from customers. Many times these are excellent training tools. During training, the recorded call can be used to point out what should and should not be said to a customer that is already unhappy with the company.
4) Develop a Q&A website based on common questions received from customers.
5) Create and streamline systems according to suggestions and feedback – especially negative feedback from customers.
One of the easiest ways for consumers to see that a company cares is in the way the business treats its customers. When customer service is part of the company’s mission and each staff member works to make sure that every customer is truly satisfied, the company is going to succeed.
About the Author
Debbie Allen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about online marketing and sharing tips and ideas from quality sites like Reputation.com.