16 Aug 2019 By: Kristin Savage
Reading reviews about your company, products, or services is always exciting. It’s how you get an honest opinion about the quality of the work you are doing.
However, not every entrepreneur knows how to make the most of positive and negative customer feedback.
Here are 10 great ways you can effectively utilize customer feedback.
Reinforce the Positive
When replying to positive customer feedback, make sure to reinforce the positive aspects of the review.
If the commenter liked something specific about your product or service, express how happy you are that they enjoyed it. Then, mention other benefits of that particular product or service.
In addition, share some behind-the-scenes info about why the customer service was so great.
— MyCustomer.com (@MyCustomer) August 28, 2018
On the other hand, if the feedback is you receive is negative, keep your response positive nonetheless.
Try to find out more about what made the customer upset, and let them know that you appreciate that they alerted you to the issue.
Personalize the Response
Nobody wants to feel like they are just another number rather than a real person who just made a purchase. This is why personalizing your replies is so important.
According to a Researchscape International study, the top benefits of personalization include improved customer experience (55%), improved brand perception (39%), and increased lead generation and customer acquisition (46%).
So, always take some time to craft a customized message that includes the person’s name and discusses the specifics of their problem.
This will show that you actually read their review and truly care about resolving their issue.
You can check out this interaction between a representative of Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in California and their customer to see response personalization done right.
Share the Success with Your Team
Positive reviews can help build a good reputation for your brand.
They promote you basically for free and the only thing you have to do is encourage them.
But, positive customer feedback is also great for motivating your team to do more and strive for better performance.
In fact, 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs. (Clutch)
In fact, 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback
feel fulfilled in their jobs. (Clutch)
So, when you get a review from a recent customer, make sure to share it with your team. They will get inspired by the praise.
You can also reply to the feedback saying that a specific worker is responsible for such results. This will make others check how well they did on that specific order.
Take Things Private
Sometimes it’s better to keep things private as you wouldn’t want to have a public dispute on a review site or in a public forum.
In the event of a hostile review, make sure you quickly take things to direct message (if it’s on social media) or to email.
If you can obtain the customer’s email address, send them an email immediately. Then, reply under their review saying that you have reached out via that channel.
Otherwise, ask the customer to reach out themselves in order to settle the matter, and be sure to include that you are sorry they had to deal with such problems.
Say “Thank You”
“There are two words that work wonders and they are ‘thank you’.
It’s amazing how many people forget about being polite and showing their gratitude, so when you do it to your customers, they instantly have a feeling of being respected,” says Marie Fincher, Writer at Trust My Paper.
77% of consumers like when brands demonstrate their appreciation (TD Bank). So, always say thank you. Here are the 10 Golden Rules of Customer Service defined and paired with solutions: https://t.co/YAjwOp2Zl6 #customerexperience #customerservice #goldenrule pic.twitter.com/XBgP9DczUy
— LiveHelpNow (@LiveHelpNow) July 31, 2019
Saying “thank you” should be your number one rule when responding to customer feedback. Show your customers that you appreciate their opinions and want to hear more of them.
This is what will help you build a strong relationship with them and connect better as well as encourage more reviews.
Defend Your Business (If Necessary)
Contrary to popular belief, your customers are not always right, especially when it comes to online reviews.
When you see a bad review and know that the situation didn’t go the way the person claims it did, make sure to defend your business and your workers without losing your cool or being rude.
I believe the customer is NOT always right. But I always remind everyone that the customer is still the customer. Even if they are wrong, you must let them be wrong with dignity and respect. https://t.co/zJidn4GlOA #CustomerExperience #custserv pic.twitter.com/lvgo50IHCj
— Shep Hyken (@Hyken) July 24, 2019
You might not be able to change the mind of your customer, but you can still show that there is another side to the story.
Explain why things went wrong. This way other potential customers see the situation from your point of view and your reputation will stay intact.
Apologize & Sympathize with the Reviewer
Just like you have to defend your business in some situations, in others you must back down and admit you are wrong.
Apologize for what happened and sympathize with your reviewer. Your empathy and honesty will be valued by other potential customers.
Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend brands at a much higher rate at 71% vs. 45%. (Motista)Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend brands at a much higher rate at 71% vs. 45%. @Motista Click To Tweet
In addition, resist the temptation to have the last word, and allow your customer to “win.” Be honest with yourself about the performance of your business, and you will improve the conversation with your clients.
Quickly Communicate Your Action Plan
The first step in proper communication with your customers is sending them a speedy reply.
You can ensure this by implementing live chat agents (like HelpSquad, for example) to monitor your website and social media messages 24/7.
Furthermore, always be sure to utilize this opportunity to fully communicate your action plan.
Tell your customer what you will be doing to solve their issue. Explain it step-by-step and assure them that you will be doing everything in your power to find the fastest solution.
Offer Perks to Compensate for a Bad Experience
If the customer is particularly angry, you may want to offer some perks to compensate for their bad experience.
For example, you could refund their order which is probably the most valued solution by many customers.
According to LivePerson’s Connecting with Customers Report, 37% of customers are satisfied with service recovery when they are offered something of monetary value (e.g., a refund or credit).According to LivePerson’s Connecting with Customers Report, 37% of customers are satisfied with service recovery when they are offered something of monetary value (e.g., a refund or credit). Click To Tweet
Alternatively, offer gift cards, coupons, special offers, or even additional product or services for free.
Be Tactful & Solve the Problem
Always be tactful with your customers.
There are three key qualities you must display in your reply: politeness, patience, and respect.
Treat your customer as you would treat your MOTHER: with dignity and respect, and earn the right to do business by embedding humanity, empathy, and emotion into every business decision you make.
— Nasr Albusaidi (@nasralbusaidi) March 28, 2019
As long as you have all three, your response will appear professional and genuine.
At the same time, remember to offer a solution to your customer within the reply. Your goal is to find a way to change their mind or maybe even persuade them to give you a second chance.
All in all, responding to customer feedback will not be difficult as long as you follow these simple rules, and always make sure that your replies are appropriate and tactful.
Want more feedback tips? Hubspot offers a great read, outlining 16 strategies to obtain customer feedback.
About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at SupremeDissertations and GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.