The good, bad and ugly of customer feedback

3 min read

How to receive feedback like a pro and use it to your advantage.

So you got some customer feedback? Now what…


Feedback comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a customer congratulating you on a job well done or criticising a customer service experience.


Top performing companies understand the value of feedback. It not only improves customer experience but can also quickly indicate issues and bottlenecks you may not be aware of.


According to Microsoft’s 2017 Customer Service Report, “77% of customers have a more favourable view of brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.”


How can you get the most out of your feedback? Let’s look at the options:


The Good


Good feedback is something to be celebrated. It’s validation that all your hard work is finally paying off. But the good news doesn’t stop there. Did you know it’s also the most valuable form of marketing?


Share your customer testimonials and positive reviews on your website or Google Business Listing. According to Bright Local’s 2018 Consumer Review Survey, customers between the age of 18-34 read 11 reviews before feeling able to trust a business. Every piece of positive feedback counts.


The Bad


On average, for every customer who complains, there are 26 customers who don't say anything. Something must have happened to make them feel the way they do. Try to express empathy, reply in a timely manner and offer a solution if possible.


If you are responding in person, repeat back what you heard “I hear you saying that you felt the image on our website didn’t match the product that arrived by delivery, is that right?”.


Improper handling of a customer complaint can be costly to your business and can escalate quickly. But sometimes simply listening can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal brand advocate.


The Ugly


In very rare cases will a customer write a bad review just to jeopardise your small business. But you’ll quickly identify if the customer’s complaint is genuine or fake.


Ugly feedback can include swearing, racism and radical messaging in a public sphere.


The first step is to document and archive the feedback. Screenshots and timecodes are useful for digital and social media. Transcripts and timecodes are helpful for visual and audio footage.


The second step is to never remove the feedback from the public sphere. This is particularly relevant for social media. Your best way forward is to “report” any inappropriate or derogatory comments that breach the guidelines of the social media platform.


The third step is to turn the incident into a learning experience. Think about why this has occurred. Was it something that could have been prevented? How would you go about it next time? Reflect on your processes and improve any areas of concern.


Honcho Hint - Remember any recurring feedback (good or bad) should be acted upon. For more tips, read our article How to win over difficult customers.

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