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Getting clarity - Negative reviews or feedback can cost your business, but they don't have to.

What is customer feedback?

Customer feedback is simply the rating of customer’s perception of the experience they received from engaging with your business. It is a great way of getting an idea of how your business is doing, and how to improve it. However, it does have its limitations. Positive feedback is good (especially if they are online reviews!), but poor feedback can leave you scratching your head. Sometimes the feedback is crystal clear, and you know exactly what you need to do. But, most of the time, you need to aggregate many responses to get a true sense of what is happening in your business.

I like to think of ALL feedback as a gift. Even if collection methodology is flawed or imperfect (another topic, for another time) there is still a lot of value in receiving feedback no matter their form (NPS, survey, online reviews, comment cards, etc.). So, if your business gets poor customer feedback, you need not take it negatively. What you do need to do, is work through evaluating it, and developing an improvement program in an

customer service agent
Frontline staff are a great source of information. They can help you identify where to improve.

organized, step by step manner.

As a CX specialist, I know what it means for customers to leave poor feedback, and what drives those types of comments. I thrive on helping mid-size businesses get clarity. Clarity on customer feedback, behavior and emotions. To start with, why do customers give poor or negative feedback most times?

I can tell you that, customers generally give unsolicited feedback when they are either extremely pleased or extremely dissatisfied. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you if your unsolicited feedback is polarized. Of note, when asking customers for their feedback they will be biases by whatever is going for them at the moment, and the longer you wait for the feedback, the more diluted it will become.

What to do when you get poor customer feedback

Getting poor customer feedback is not necessarily a set back to your business. It can actually be a turning point for you to improve. You can book a consultation session with me to get deeper insights on how to turn poor customer feedback to good for your mid0size company. But here, I’ll show you few things to do when you get poor customer feedbacks.

1. Don’t Overreact

I know how horrible it can be to get poor customer experience feedback from your customers. The truth is, overreacting to your customer support agents won’t be useful. Plan how to train your agents for them to leave your customers with better experience. You may also want to consider asking your frontline staff how they felt about the interaction, or their level of empowerment or level of training. Generally, frontline employees will have a lot to offer in terms of improvement plans.

2. Assume good intention

Don’t take poor feedback from customers as a way of criticizing your business or you in person. No, they’re only sharing their experience with your business, and you should take it as though they have good intention for sharing their experience. If you can hold on to this, it’ll help you improve your business.

3. Follow-up with the Customer, immediately AND in the mid-term

Connecting with the client can often help diffuse the situation, and offer additional information. Depending on your feedback collection tool, there may be significant gaps in terms of what data or context was shared. Additionally, Gartner says that less than 10% of companies follow-up with their customers once they’ve received feedback (solicited or otherwise). Personalization and 1-on-1 contact can make a huge difference.

Also, beyond simply following up immediately following receipt of the constructive feedback, once you’ve made changes to your processes / program / product, etc. follow-up again. Show your customer that you REALLY did take their thoughts seriously. Show them you acted on them. Now that’s a way to drive loyalty.

Earn loyalty

In fact, often your customer’s loyalty (or lack thereof) is defined not by the fact that they had a problem, rather by how the company responded to them and resolved the issue. This is what they call a “moment of impact” in a customer journey map. Another reason to see all feedback as a gift!

Still not sure what to do… Consult a Customer Service Specialist

Reach out to a CX expert like myself. You can get in touch with me to discuss how to design, plan and execute a strategy that’ll work well with your business. Consult me for your customer experience coaching.

Janelle Mansfield is a Customer Experience Consultant and Evangelist. She thrives on helping mid-size companies achieve their business goals, while placing more strategic value on CX and the results it can drive. Janelle combines her 15+ years of experience in consulting, marketing, sales, delivery, technology, data-driven decision making and governance to help develop leading customer experience teams that are cross-functional and highly-effective.

How can a customer experience consultant help your business grow? Let's consider the context of your company, your offering and your clients - contact for a complimentary 20-minute consultation.

Contact Janelle at:

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