It’s International Customer Service Week 2022.
If you haven’t already solicited feedback from your customers already, you may be sleeping on the bicycle. Please go ahead and do so.
So, when you solicit feedback and you get some negative feedback, what should you do? In some cases, you don’t even solicit the feedback, it finds it’s way back to you without you looking for it.
Below are six recommended steps for handling negative feedback.
THANK THE CUSTOMER FOR GIVING YOU THE FEEDBACK
It takes commitment/passion to give feedback, particularly negative feedback.
We know that practically no one wants negative feedback. So, it takes a lot of courage for someone to give you negative feedback.
Note that the opposite of positive feedback is NOT negative feedback; it is actually INDIFFERENCE.
Don’t stifle future feedback due to the mishandling of negative feedback.
Also note that the customer cares enough about your business to help you identify gaps that you are blind-sided to.
TAKE TIME TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REAL ISSUE IS
Don’t wave them off as trouble makers that always find faults. In most cases, there is something in your process that could actually be improved upon. The other customers that have not highlighted the issues have most likely noticed the same issues but they don’t want to rock the boat. That “troublesome” customer is bringing an underlying issue to light before all your clients migrate at once. Pay attention to them.
INVOLVE A NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY
Where practical, involve a neutral third party to review the situation and give you honest feedback.
Many times, we are too emotionally invested in the matter to be objective with negative feedback. You will have reasons that you consider valid why the customer’s expectations were not met. The third party reviewer does not have such emotional investment in the situation and is able to review the issue dispassionately.
APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR LAPSES
Apologize for your lapses. Offer some discount, if feasible, to compensate for the inconvenience.
Your ego may be bruised but if you are interested in building a business that will outlast you, you’ll need to check your ego. There’s a lot of talk these
REVIEW YOUR WORK PROCESSES TO CLOSE THE GAPS
Review your work processes to ensure that there are no repeat events
GIVE FEEDBACK TO THE CUSTOMER
If practical, give feedback to the customer on the changes you have made to your work processes based on their feedback.
Do you have a story of how you converted a negative experience to a fantastic working relationship? Please share in the comments or send a message.
Happy Customer Service Week.