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How To Handle Negative Feedback From Customers

It is very important to know as to how to handle negative feedback from customersBusinesses like every other stream of consciousness seem to thrive on positive feedback. But just like every other part of life, it is not devoid of negative feedback. However, the presence of negative feedback is not the problem rather the focus should be on how your businesses handle negative feedback from customers. But before we proceed to talk about ways you can handle negative reviews and improve customer satisfaction, there are some data you need to know. 


Customer Service experience has a lasting effect on your CX

In a study conducted by ZenDesk, it was concluded that: 


97% say bad customer service changes buying behaviour, and 87% say good customer service changes buying behaviour

53.3% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week

44.6% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews

Restaurateurs responding to a 1- or 2-star review have a 33% higher probability of the customer coming back and potentially upgrading their review by as much as 3 stars

62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer service experience

66% of B2B and 52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction

Women (45%), B2B (51%), Gen X (54%), and high-income households (79%) are most likely to avoid vendors two or more years after a bad customer service experience


Defining the process to handle negative feedback

We know what a bad customer interaction can lead to. It directly affects your business. Here are ways you can handle negative customer feedback to ensure a positive customer experience. 


Separate yourself from the business

Businesses are run by real people with real emotions. One of the hardest things to do when you get negative feedback is to distance yourself from the situation. It is human nature to react to things and the best action you can take at the moment is to separate human from the business and understand that review is not about you but the product or service being offered. The chances of something bad happening when multiple teams are working can be low but never zero. Remember, every negative feedback can be a chance to improve your CX. 


Listen to what the customer is trying to say

After cooler heads have prevailed, listen to what the customer is trying to tell you. You don’t have to prove the customer wrong and even if you do manage to prove him/her wrong, it won’t be helpful. Simply listening till the customer is finished would ensure that you know everything the counterpart has to say. Doing so would also help you get a precise view of the issue at hand. 


Be curious

Curiosity would be an ally when dealing with a customer with negative feedback. After you are done understanding the problem, switch to asking questions that will help you get more information and investigate the root cause. Also, asking questions will help eliminate the appearance of you being defensive. 


Seek Time to process everything

Take time and collect your thoughts. Make an initial contact at the earliest to ensure that your customer feels heard. However, don’t try and fix the problem immediately. Understand the situation, take a complete analysis of the situation and assess a practical timeline. Make sure you have enough time to process everything and ensure that you are not hot under the collar. 


Apologize for the issue

Being humane can take your business to heights. Even if you are not in the wrong, apologizing for the way your customer feels can help build a better relationship with the customer. This is a slippery slope as you don’t want to appear too apologetic, however, apologize once if necessary. Make it sincere and try to learn from the negative feedback. 


Try and fix it as quickly

Find the root cause of the problem; a disgruntled customer seeks a solution to the problem and if you fail to provide that, the net customer experience would remain negative. Identify the problem, devise a fix, and make sure the problem is never repeated. 


Angry customers are your biggest ambassadors

Despite all your first instincts telling you to counter the arguments or ignore the white noise, if you manage to overcome all these emotions and process the feedback and try to provide a solution, you will be uncovering a literal treasure. Every disgruntled customer has the potential to be your biggest ambassador and promoter, all you have to do is handle the negative feedback of the customer and turn it into a positive experience for the customer. Follow the process and turn every experience into a positive one. 

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