How to Combat Negative Customer Feedback Online
Whether you own and operate a brochure site, an eCommerce store or a SaaS platform, either indirectly or directly you’re going to be receiving customer feedback on a daily basis. It’s whether you choose to ignore it that will set you apart from the crowd.
Some of the feedback you receive will be online, others you may receive face-to-face, and some you may not see at all without implementing clever technologies within your business to seek it out. Whatever the case, customer feedback, whether it’s negative or positive is everywhere.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can not only identify what’s being said about your business online but how you can face up to that feedback if it’s negative and can begin to shape the tone of the conversation when it comes to you and your brand.
Building your tech-stack
If you’re going to embrace negative feedback online and turn those frowns upside down, you have to have a tech-stack you can rely on and use on a daily basis to listen to what your customers are saying about you and your business.
Depending upon who your target market is, what sorts of products you’re selling and which channels you use to sell online, you’ll need to build a tech-stack to suit.
For example, if you’re selling designer clothes online, have a strong following on Instagram or Pinterest, you’re going to need a social media management tool to review chatter.
If you’re selling B2B (Business to Business), you’ll need to be monitoring what people are saying about you on different social networks such as LinkedIn, where they’re saying about your services and support in forums and message boards, all whilst tracking the ease of which they’re able to interact with you and your website using analytics and online survey tools.
Building a tech-stack that suits your business is really important and is the first step in combatting negative feedback. To do so, we recommend checking out the following tools:
- KISSmetrics: Great for boosting on-site engagement, customer retention and increasing conversions across your website.
- Feedback Lite: A feature-rich website feedback tool for surveying users at crucial points in their online journey using a contextual feedback.
- Sprout Social: A handy tool for managing social media accounts and tracking mentions of your brand and related hashtags across a variety of social channels.
Sifting through customer feedback (both positive and negative)
Everybody loves a pat on the back, but it’s actioning negative feedback where you can make the most gains in your online ventures.
Sure, positive feedback is useful in identifying what you’ve done well across your site, social media and your search marketing campaigns, but negative feedback either in written or statistical format is where you can really get some ‘runs on the board’.
For example, if you were to run a customer feedback campaign using Feedback Lite, you could quite easily determine which areas of your site need the most attention, what products and services your customers would like you to be offering, and whether your customer support is being well received.
Combine this with some detailed customer journey mapping using KISSmetrics, and you’re soon going to have not only a statistical data set which explicitly details where your customers are spending their time or choosing to abandon your site but a detailed set of survey data you can cross-check your findings with.
What about my social mentions?
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget social media. Social mentions, in particular, are great for actioning feedback in real-time because you can respond as soon as you see any sort of chatter which does not support your brand’s goals.
This is something I encourage because unlike other digital channels, negative social mentions have the potential to spread like wildfire on social media turning what may be a small isolated issue into a major PR disaster.
Using tools such as Sprout Social are great for keeping your finger on the pulse when it comes to social chatter, however, remember that it’s the steps you take prior on your site and in your planning, which can reduce any instances where you need to manage negative commentary.
Tracking progress and actioning failures
Identifying and actioning negative customer feedback is important, but generally, it takes time for problems to dissipate entirely. With this in mind, you should consider implementing repeat surveys of past issues to ensure your customers are seeing an improvement in the service you offer.
This can be as simple as implementing a similar survey to the one you have published in the past or reaching out to regular customers get their opinion on how you’re progressing.
One method which has worked very well for my team and I is mentioning the measures you we put in place to address customer concerns and see what feedback comes back from our audience via an email marketing campaign. This not only forces your customers to recognize that you’re proactively trying to step up your game, but you actually do offer a really great service.
After all, nobody’s perfect, and if spelling it out to your customers what you’ve been up to is the most effective way to get them to see how you’re working in their best interest…so be it!
If you haven’t worked it out by now, as painful as it is to receive negative customer feedback, it’s a major opportunity for you to correct your past failings or missed opportunities and deliver your customers what they’re asking for.
In many cases, the fact that your customers have actually taken the time to provide you with feedback should indicate to you that there’s still a very strong chance you can turn a negative customer experience into a positive one and potentially create a brand advocate.
If you’re looking to change the way you work, growth-hack your on-site visitation, sales and conversion rates, then implementing regular customer feedback campaigns is an area of your business you can’t afford to ignore.