What you need to know about negative experiences…
More often than not, we hear about bad customer service experiences. It makes you wonder if the world revolves around negative experiences. Apparently, people are far more likely to share their grievances publicly than they are to share compliments. According to ClickFox’s second annual benchmarking survey, Consumer Tipping Points, only 8% of customers are likely to make public posts or share a positive experience, whereas this percentage doubles in the case of a bad experience.
Think about that for a moment:
One of your customers has a great time, and they don’t tell anyone about it, but a bad time and suddenly their entire world knows about it.
Forget that it’s completely unfair; human nature isn’t about fair, unfortunately.
What do we do about it?
If you’re dealing with a specific negative review, make sure you reach out to that customer straight away. You’ve let them down somehow, best to dive straight in and apologize, perhaps offer them something to express your regret for the bad service they received; while you’re at it, why not ask for their input? If you can figure out what it was exactly that frustrated them, you can better address the problem. Maybe it was something that was said, not done — get the details so you can avoid the same issue in the future!
- Identify the problem. There’s no point in plunging headlong in trying to solve your issues if you don’t know exactly what they are.
- What section of your customer-facing department is letting the customer down? Are your customers complaining about something specific?
- Is your sales team doing something ‘wrong’/not doing something ‘right’?
- Are you meeting customer expectations in general?
Questions like this need to be answered before you ca begin to isolate the issues and deal with them. This can be tricky if you don’t have checklists in place, and some businesses find they need external help from customer improvement companies or other consultancies.
2. Isolate the problem. Don’t try and tackle everything at once. Which problem is the most pressing? Is it the way your staff greets customers, or is the long waiting periods that are creating negative feedback?
3. Fix the problem. You know what the problem is, you can take steps to make sure it never happens again. Are your customers waiting for half an hour before they’re served? Perhaps you need more staff. Did one of your sales consultants say something that generated the negative feedback? Time to discuss this with that consultant and have a general discussion with the entire team.
The goal here is to learn from the mistakes you’ve made. Don’t think of a customer’s negative review/complaints as a setback, think of it as an opportunity to do better.