Sending out surveys always brings results, some positive and some negative.
While you may find yourself cringing as the negative results pile in, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You of course appreciate the positive comments because they are reassuring, but the negative survey results are a growth opportunity.
Most business leaders know that negative feedback doesn’t have to spell disaster, and they instead turn it into a positive experience. (tweet this)
In this article, we look at what to do with negative feedback and five proven steps to improve it.
#1: Don’t Let Customers Down
Once your customers have taken the time to complete your survey, you don’t want to let them all down. Show your customers you value their time and their feedback by providing a response.
If you don’t, you show customers their input is useless, and they’ll likely never complete another survey for you again.
What happens after your customers send their survey feedback is the most important part of your survey
#2: Review Your Survey Responses
Gather your team and make sure everyone has read and re-read the customer feedback.
Delegate someone to respond to the negative feedback and someone to respond to the positive feedback.
Discuss together how your staff should handle their responses, especially to the negative feedback.
For starters, they should respond immediately. This isn’t something you want to fester. After all, the last thing you want are negative reviews all over Google and Facebook.
You can improve the customer’s opinion of you by learning more about what they’re upset about, remaining empathetic and showing you care. This is all regardless of whether you think the customer is right or not.
#3: Take Action
As you prepare to take action, it can be helpful to have a template for your employees to follow. Set guidelines and parameters so your staff is well-versed on just what to say.
They should always customize the response, though, so the template is really just an initial guide.
You may find that you can improve your negative feedback with the right response. Customers may even end up sticking with your company because of the way you handled their negative feedback.
Your follow-up is key to keeping the customer and turning them into one of your most loyal ones.
Train your staff to create a response that renames their concern, acknowledges it, and then lets them know how you can remedy it. Always let them know how much you value their input and how sorry you are for the problem.
#4: Review Responses
The next step is setting aside a time to meet with your staff to discuss your negative feedback.
This is so important because it’s the only way you’ll improve your business and your service and avoid negative feedback in the future.
#5: Analyze Your Data
Finally, as you review responses and make a plan for turning things around, you want to really analyze your data.
This means looking where the negative feedback came from. Is it just one department? Is it a particular area of the city or country?
By analyzing the data, you’ll find areas where you might provide more training. Or, you might learn you need to add a staff person because the wait time is too long. You also might find problems with products.
Analyzing your data provides a wealth of information and lets you know where to act.
When businesses respond promptly to negative feedback, they benefit. If you ignore, you’re likely to suffer in the form of bad reviews all over the internet.
Communicate with your customers. Try to fix the problem, and once you have, reach back out to those same customers and let them know what you’re doing to fix it.
This means contacting them more than once and showing them that not only did their feedback matter, but you took steps to make sure it didn’t happen again. Thank them one more time and let them know their role in affecting change.
Providing good customer service is vital to the success of any business. So, when you get negative feedback, you want to do everything in your power to improve it.
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