What do I do with negative feedback?

Nowadays it is virtually impossible to ignore customer complaints. And I mean that literally.

With research from the Institute of Customer Service showing a significant increasein number of customers who turn to social media to replace telephone, email and website enquiries, it’s no surprise your company’s Twitter notifications are keeping you awake well into the night.

A dissatisfied customer is often an angry customer. And angry customers want to have their voice heard – with some research showing that 30% of people complain via social channels to vent negative feeling, and 23% are motivated by vengeance. So what does this mean for your business?

Complaints in the public domain aren’t just seen by you – they’re seen by your other users, and they can also be seen by your competitors. Ignoring the user’s complaint will most likely result you losing them as a customer, or worst case scenario, in a terrible PR nightmare. So there is really just one course of action: embrace customer complaints.

Accidents will happen, no matter how many prevention techniques you have in place. And what better way to improve those prevention techniques than to learn from your mistakes? Remember, your community is not only there to give you positive feedback, but also to help you learn from the negative situations.

Your frontline support team is there to assist the user and help the best way they can, but they aren’t always able to find a solution to the problem. Sometimes things break. So what can your team do next? Take action. By logging everything in a central system like ProdPad and linking similar feedback, you’ll be able to see patterns and form an idea that will allow to solve the problem at hand.

Fill out a business case, asking: what problem are you really trying to solve? What impact will this have on your platform and users? And of course, the magic number: how many users have asked for it?

When you have all that feedback logged, you can run test scenarios, beta releases, and ask for more information from the users directly. After all, who best to test new features out for you than your own clients! From the source to the source and back around, allowing you to work in an agile way and make sure your product is up to standards.

If you have a public roadmap, you’ll also be able to keep your customers (and your team) in the loop of what you’re working on, which gives them extra confidence that you are indeed listening to their feedback.

Once the feature is released, you can personally send an email to those customers letting them know that the new feature or issue is ready, and of course thank them for taking the time to provide you with the details necessary to make that happen. You’ll look like a superstar, and they’ll feel like you really value them – and you do! It’s a win-win situation!

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