Nobody likes bad news, but negative feedback is something you will experience at some point in your career.
However hard you try to please your customers there will be times when you get it wrong.
Social media and on-line reviews have led to an increase in customers sharing their customer service experience.
According to research 58% of people are more likely to tell others about their customer service experience today than they were 5 years ago.
Therefore it is important to know how to handle negative feedback to minimise the long term effect on your business.
It can be hard to listen to criticism, but it is imperative to hear what is being said. Don’t interrupt and try not to get defensive. Distance yourself emotionally and take the remarks as you would a doctors advice; You don’t take offence and argue back when he or she tells you to eat less salt! Accept negative feedback with openness and gratitude.
2. Ask Questions
It can be difficult to present criticism well, the customer may be struggling to get their point across; you need to help the customer communicate whatever their issue may be. By asking questions you eliminate the appearance of defensiveness, and it stops you from immediately trying to justify your companies actions.
3. Put Yourself In Their Shoes
You can’t always find a solution, but you can always offer empathy. By putting yourself in the shoes of the customer you will understand their frustrations better. This will give you a better understanding of your business from the point of view of your customers. Convey how deeply you understand how the customer feels and ask them what would make the situation more acceptable.
4. Ask For Time To Rectify The Problem
A knee-jerk reaction is not always the best response. Whilst it is essential to respond quickly, you need time to respond appropriately. Remember if you are responding via social media other people will see your comments which, if you are not careful can draw more negative feedback.
But, don’t over apologise, even if you didn’t do whatever made your customer upset you can still be genuinely sorry for the way the customer feels. Make sure they know that you are sorry they have not had a good experience with your companies service or product.
In conclusion; keep emotions out of the picture, get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred and focus on fixing the problem so it doesn’t happen again.