GROUP 6 Final Report: Handling Negative Feedback
Since the ability to voice your opinions on brands is present, companies must know how and when to properly respond to their consumers. Although a brand may get a handful of praise and positive feedback, they must also know how to handle negative feedback when it strikes. As brands are becoming involved in the social media world, they now have to worry about non-stop customer feedback; both positive and negative.
The existence of these social media sites allow individuals to tell the entire internet world how they feel about a brand, or perhaps a certain experience with it, so companies must be very involved with their online presence. They should know what is being said about them, when, and where. A good tracking device for feedback is Yelp, an online tool that allows you to see what is being said about you and your brand.
It seems negative feedback may not actually be a ‘negative’ thing, rather a way for a brand to improve on what they are doing wrong. Instead of fighting back with negative feedback, brands should embrace it, looking at it as a means of improvement. Smaller companies live/die by customer reviews – so managing negative feedback is imperative to their survival.
Here are some tips on how to handle negative feedback:
-Responding in a timely manner. Take note of different ways to do so: status update/ personal message/ take matters offline?
-Always acknowledge, never deny. “customer is always right”
-Ask questions: where did business go wrong?
-Leave emotion out of responding to negative feedback. Deal with it professionally!
-Monitor your brand
-Always respond promptly to your customers
-Make sure to give them personal attention that shows you care
-Never to take it personally
-Always offer to help
-Genuine conversation! Don’t have a machine respond, as this is very impersonal
How Not to Handle Bad Feedback:
This is an example of how not to respond to negative feedback. Responding to a customer by insulting them is never the right thing to do. A customer is entitled to their opinion and should always have the ability to speak their mind, even if it isn’t the most positive thing about the company.
How to Handle Negative Feedback:
This is an example of the correct way to handle negative feedback. Apologize for the problem, and lead the unsatisfied customer to further help. You should always attempt to resolve the issue in a calm manner and let the customer know you care about their problem.
Harris survey found that 68% of customers that left negative reviews got a response, and 18% of these people became loyal customers as a result, and made additional purchases from the company. Of the customers that received a response from a company after posting negative feedback about their shopping experience, 33% turned around and posted a positive review, and 34% deleted the original negative review. These numbers may seem insignificant but they’re actually higher than what the hypothesis was for Harris Survey. Imagine having 50% positive reviews, and 50% negative… overall this is a negative image for your brand. But if 34% of those customers deleted their negative feedback and wrote positive reviews this comes out to a total of 84% positive and 16% negative. What a difference!
Respond to feedback online as if you would via a different medium. Ignoring a negative comment is equivalent to sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “la la la” in a customer’s face. Obviously this is neither professional nor a practice of good customer service, so why treat an online platform any different than real life situations?
A simple and easy way to prevent negative feedback is to monitor online conversations. Taking notice of when customers are dissatisfied is a way of ‘nipping the problem in the butt’ before the condition is publicized. Don’t wait for the negative feedback – be a step ahead and fix problems before they have a chance to complain on a platform that isn’t just a conversation between consumers.
Be sure to praise constructive criticism. Thanking consumers who help the company by shedding light onto a problem will make them feel important and useful. Taking constructive criticism in a professional way is vital to the response. On the other side of the spectrum, a company must take notice of positive feedback and realize what they’re doing correctly! Taking ownership of both negative and positive feedback helps to create a well-rounded brand identity.
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