No business likes to receive negative feedback. It certainly doesn’t feel good.
But, instead of getting defensive and angry, you can turn it into an opportunity for growth and change.
In this article, we look at how to interpret negative feedback on a survey so you can use it to improve your business.
First, let’s look at some steps you can take to evaluate your data.
Interpret the Data
First, you want to read through all of your survey data. Don’t make immediate conclusions because that comes later.
After the initial reading, you can begin organizing the results.
Next, you want to look for patterns in your data. Your online software can help you do this. See which responses were the most popular and note the outliers.
You should start to see a pattern. For example, perhaps more respondents were happy with one of your products, but not another. This is where you’d find what you needed to fix.
For some people, it helps to view the data in a visual format like graphs or charts. Make sure you’re looking at the data in the way that best helps you understand it.
Finally, decide what responses necessitate action from you and make a plan for taking care of the issues.
Your first step in interpreting any negative feedback is to really listen to what your customers are saying. It’s hard to do this right after you read the feedback.
So, take a step back, breathe and return to review it after you’ve calmed down.
Read the response carefully to make sure you understand exactly what your customer is telling you.
Respond to the Customer
If you know the name of the customer who responded negatively, you should contact the respondent within 24 hours.
It’s usually best to respond with a phone call, but if you don’t know the number, you can send an email.
It will mean a lot to your customer that you took the time to call and make things right.
Your goal is to do everything you can to remedy the situation with your customer. This isn’t the time to be defensive or angry. You want to turn an angry customer into a loyal one by the service you provide.
Make sure your customer knows how much you appreciate his/her taking your survey and providing you with feedback. Ask him to give you more information, then apologize and provide solutions.
Once you’ve analyzed your survey data and compiled both your positive and your negative feedback, you are well-poised to make some changes.
Take the negative feedback and discuss it with your team. Brainstorm ways you can prevent this type of feedback in the future while providing the best customer service possible.
You can also take this one step further and craft an email to your survey respondents, thanking them for completing the survey. Then, you want to let them know what steps you are taking to remedy their issues.
This lets all of your customers know you are serious about the survey and truly value their thoughts and opinions.
Perhaps the most important thing about your survey is that you do something with the results, both negative and positive.
It does you no good to send out a survey and ignore the data.
If things are going great, congratulations. But, don’t stop there. Ask yourself how you can make things even better.
When you get negative feedback, you must respond and take action. This shows your customers that you value their comments. It lets them know that as a business, you intend to improve your service and products.
Once you’ve taken the steps necessary to correct your mistakes, consider sending a second survey.
You can ask your customers specific questions that focus on the negative feedback you received from the first survey to find out if you’ve improved.
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