Collaborative Article: Share your top 3 ways to deal with negative customer feedback

Negative customer feedback is often inevitable but not always easy to deal with. With businesses only talking about their successes, it is harder to speak about the negatives. We asked business professionals to unveil the ways that they deal with customer feedback so to spread knowledge and expertise to others looking for advice on negative customer feedback. See how these successful proffessionals deal with negative customer feedback in our new collaborative article.

Levani Shalolashvili

Managing Director at Advyse.co

You must know how to deal with negative feedback in order to maintain a positive brand image and customer satisfaction. My top 3 ways are as follows:

  1. Aim to respond ASAP and in a professional manner
    • Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and show them empathy. Remember they wish to be fully heard. Even if the issue wasn’t directly your fault, apologise for the inconvenience the customer experienced. A sincere apology can go a long way in defusing tension and reaching a “middle-ground” resolution.
  2. Investigate the issue and take action
    • There is always a reason for a complaint. Do your thorough due diligence to understand the root cause. Consult with your team, review records, and check the customer’s journey with your product or service. If the feedback highlights a valid issue, take corrective action to address it. Whether it’s improving a process, fixing a bug, or enhancing a service, demonstrate to the customer and others that their feedback has led to positive changes.
  3. Learn from feedback and iterate:
    • Negative feedback can actually be a net positive! Treat it as a source of valuable information. Are there any patterns or recurring issues that may indicate broader problems? Analyse customer feedback on a regular basis to identify areas for improvement and give them an opportunity to provide feedback. This can be done through surveys, reviews, or even direct communication.

By responding promptly, addressing concerns professionally, and using negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement, you can turn a challenging situation into a positive customer experience and showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Amy Pierquet

Owner, Waterfront Graphic Design

First of all, always respond to a negative review. When you respond it shows that you care, it can explain your side or show that the review writer wasn’t even a client (it happens more than you think). When responding to a negative review, empathize with the reviewer’s feelings and offer a solution for the situation.

Dave Davies

Director, Sandler

The Top 3 ways to deal with negative customer feedback.

1: Learn to separate your Role from your Identity. Your Identity (I) is who you are. It’s always intact. Your are always is always 10. You role is conditional. It’s you doing what you do. It’s behaviours and actions.

2: Understand the psychologies behind human interaction. Transactional Analysis teaches us that everyone has an ego. Constructed from the Parent, Adult, and Child. Understanding this, helps you understand the dynamics of human interaction, and where people are coming from. DISC teaches us about peoples Behaviours and Triggers, some are Dominant, others Compliant, Others Influencers, and others Steady. These nuances control behaviours and ultimately communication style.

3: Have a system.

Systems set us free. the 7-step system for dealing with “difficult” people?

1 – Listen; silently, attentively, be present)

2 – Validate; repeat back to them what they are saying, so they can hear themselves, and be sure you are actively listening and understanding them. People want to be heard, and understood.

3 – Contract: Get agreement to the outcomes they are expecting, and the steps you will take to get them there.

4 – Ask Questions: Take the time to truly understand them. Make sure you are working on the real problem, not the intellectual issues.

When they make a bold statement, ask questions to understand both the intent behind the question, and what they are hoping to hear.

5 – Negotiate Outcomes Get clear on the acceptable outcomes, from their perspective

6 – Manage Expectations: Be honest about what you can achieve, who else may be involved, and the reasonable timescales for resolution.

7 – Follow Up: When you’ve done what you said you would do, follow up, in a reasonable timescale to ensure that they are happy with the outcome, and back to being an advocate, rather than a detractor for your business.

PS: Following up is not a Survey link! Be a human!

Gerard Anthony Gerona

LINK Philippines

Negative feedback can be turned into an opportunity. Don’t mind the feedback.

Focus on the complaint. Start by acknowledging the issue, empathize and show that you are sincere and willing to go the extra mile to solve the issue and offer a solution.

Address the problem openly and professionally, aiming to resolve it effectively. Always thank the customer for their feedback as it helps improve your services.

Navigating negative customer feedback is a critical skill for any business professional. As showcased by industry leaders like Levani Shalolashvili, Amy Pierquet, Dave Davies, and Gerard Anthony Gerona, the key lies in active listening, empathetic responses, and a systematic approach to problem-solving. Embracing feedback not just as criticism, but as an avenue for growth, allows businesses to foster stronger relationships with their clientele and continuously refine their offerings. By integrating these insights, businesses can transform challenging situations into opportunities for improvement and showcase commitment to customer satisfaction.

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