You know that old saying “You can’t make everyone happy”? Well it’s true, despite all efforts to provide customers with outstanding service, you will to run into an unhappy customer from time to time. And that customer may leave you a negative review on a very public forum. If your first instinct is to ignore the negativity and move on, you’re missing a golden opportunity.
A large majority of unsatisfied customers will never tell you where your business went wrong, leaving you scratching your head as to why they didn’t return. Complaining customers, on the other hand, will tell you where you dropped the ball and provide you with an opportunity correct an error or change a process. With a little TLC you can address complaints and improve your customer retention.
@MRM3333 We're estimating to depart at 12:36 pm. Your aircraft has fallen a bit behind this morning, but we'll work to make up lost time.— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) February 27, 2017
1. Respond Quickly
2. Listen Carefully
Take interest in what your customers are saying, and validate how they are feeling. You can usually diffuse a situation when you display that you understand where they are coming from. Recognize that the customer took time out of their day to provide the negative feedback and actually thank them for it. Be calm and genuine with your approach and there's a good chance your haters will respond positively.
3. Make it Right
After you've taken the time to understand the issue that's been brought up, you now have the opportunity to turn things around. Explain how you will work to better the situation for the customer. Not every complaining customer will necessarily deserve a reward, but it's important to look at the situation big picture. Potential and current customers will be looking at how you address negative feedback, and you should use these opportunities to shine a positive light on your business.
4. Take Action
Following your response to the customer, it's important to document or at least internalize the feedback you've received. Utilize the firsthand assessments of your business to change your processes for the better and avoid future snafus. Your customers will recognize and appreciate that you heard them and are making changes.
You can’t afford to ignore your online critics. Responding to negative feedback is one of the easiest ways to engage with your haters, better your business and potentially produce a handful of brand advocates.