Getting Customer Feedback is unavoidable. Even if you don't set up a systematic way of taking customer feedback, you will still get it — online, on Google, on Social Media, through word-of-mouth — customers tend to leave their feedback everywhere. Unfortunately, the ones who are upset do it more often than the happy ones.
And here's the issue. According to LinkedIn, 60% of customers feel as if their concerns are not being addressed by companies.
Don't be that company.
Think of why you give feedback or write on Twitter about a company that you were upset with. To majorly get attention. And when companies don't address you, it just upsets you more. Don't be the company that upsets customers.
That is why it is important to Respond to Customer Feedback.
Benefits of Responses to Customer Feedback
Besides improving the brand identity, business reputation, and customer experience, replying to customer feedback can bring other benefits to your business.
With the growing importance of customer feedback, business owners are actively deploying different mechanisms and Customer Feedback Software to gauge the customers’ experiences and their level of satisfaction at different touchpoints in the journey of business-customer interaction.
Important points to consider while responding to Customer Feedback
1. Work internally on the negative feedback
2. Don't be offensive
3. Add the gesture of empathy
4. Express your gratitude with a thank you message
5. Suggest Solutions but don’t make False Promises
When it comes to responding to the reviews or feedback (negative or positive) of your customers, there are few elements or you can say code of ethics that define the right way to response the feedback of the customers:
- Work internally on the Negative Feedback - Getting negative feedback is not something very strange, every business gets negative feedback but the only difference is the acting on it quickly. When you receive the negative feedback, don't panic, immediately forward it to your team members and tell them to analyze and investigate internally about the concern before following up with the unhappy customers. Based on internal analyses, a customer support representative can easily address the concern of the customers and quickly solve their queries before they churned out the business.
- Don’t be Offensive - Having an offensive attitude while following up with unhappy customers can be risky for your business. Sometimes, your customer elaborates their inconvenience very furiously, and may their frustration burst out. In this scenario, the business needs to remain neutral instead of being offensive. Begin your conversation on the light note with the apology and assure them that you followed up with them to solve their issues and provide them with the best solution.
This may happen with you that your customers may take your follow up efforts as that you are trying to hard-sell them. So, address their queries patiently without being offensive.
- Add the gesture of Empathy - When you respond to customers’ feedback, especially if you are addressing the negative feedback, then you should first keep yourself in the place of customers and then reply or follow up with them. The content of your reply should have a perfect blend of Apology and Empathy in it. When you will admit your mistake and apologize for the inconvenience, customers will see this gesture as empathy and honesty and value your sentiments.
For instance, A person had ordered an online lunch and therein he founded the stale and stinky vegetables. He added negative feedback about the quality of the food. Being a restaurant owner, you can reply to this feedback something like this:
We would like to apologize for your negative experience at our restaurant. If you wouldn’t mind can you give us a chance to correct ourselves? We’d like to serve you again and sponsor a day meal for you. It would be greatly appreciated if you are fine with this. We look forward to speaking with you and working towards earning back your business.
- Express your gratitude with a Thank You message - According to the Rockefeller Corporation, 68% of customers abandoned customer feedback surveys as they feel unappreciated. Always express thanks to your customers for investing their precious time in giving you feedback about your products or services. You can also automate the trigger of personalized post-survey message/mail or express thanks to your respondents. This emotional gesture ensures you with long-term customer relationships.
- Suggest Solutions but don’t make False Promises - It is human psychology that we focus on the solutions to the problems, be it an alternate solution. So, businesses should always focus on finding the surefire solution of the problems to improve the experience of the customers. And the business needs to address the concern and fix it before the customer churned out.
If you can’t instantly solve the issue, then follow them later with the solution. You should keep transparency in communication with your customers. Don’t make any false promises with unhappy customers because on not getting their queries fulfilled they’ll get irritated and spread bad word of mouth and defame your brand image in the market. So, deliver your customers with impeccable solutions within the specified time frame.
How to Respond to different types of Customer Feedback?
Almost every industry including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, banks, retailers, and more have started taking customer feedback. Different customers share negative, positive, or neutral feedback based on their experiences. It is not like that you’ve to reply and address the negative feedback only. As per the code of ethics, responding to every feedback as per the nature of the feedback can help you to improve customer engagement. Let’s explore the way to respond to different customer feedback.
Responding to Negative Customer Feedback
No business feels good to have critics and listen to bad reviews about the brand, products, or services. But these negative feedback work as constructive criticism that helps you to identify the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) associated with your products and services. Acting on the data you can further improve your products and services and will be able to meet the customers’ requirements.
This journey of acting on data begins with the response to negative feedback because you need growth-driven data to act upon. So, responding to customers’ negative feedback brings out valuable data. Keep one thing in mind that responding to negative feedback may vary from situation to situation.
PRO TIP - Before following up with your unhappy customers or going into the meat of the conversation take the issue offline. This practice is best for your customers as well as for you. This will also provide both parties with the room to discuss their concern effectively.
Customer - A customer has given negative feedback about the restaurant that: The food was not so good, the sound was not good, the dance floor was next to the dining. Good flavored chocolate shake and the chocolate fudge was excellent.
Restaurant Owner - While it’s fantastic that chocolava shake and the chocolate fudge impressed you, thanks for appreciating! A big apology for the inconvenience, we are sorry if your experience could have been better. If you had any preferences with the food quality or any suggestions for the seating arrangement, we would've been happy to listen. I hope you'll give us another chance so you can get the kind of excellent experience. Looking forward to speaking with you on call.
Why This Reply is Best - In the response, it is reflected that the restaurateur opens up the conversation with the gratitude and expressing thanks to the guest for appreciating the shake and fudge. Later he genuinely apologizes and expresses that the guest’s experience “could have been better.” This phrase on the other hand reflects the expression of Empathy. Here, restaurateur also suggests a solution to guests in the phrase “if you had any preferences with the food quality or any suggestions for the seating arrangement, we would've been happy to listen.” Last but not least, the restaurateur has smartly taken the issue offline by saying “Looking forward to speaking with you on call.”
Responding to Positive Customer Feedback
You might be thinking that like negative feedback, positive feedback will not drive the customers away, then why do we need to respond to positive feedback? Responding to positive feedback will help you to not only improve customer engagement but also bring various new business lucrative opportunities. When your customers give you positive feedback and compliment your products or services it amplifies your marketing efforts and creates a buzz of your brand in the market. It will also inspire your happy customers to post more positive feedback and become loyal to your brand. When your loyal customers endorse your business, brand, or products and services through positive feedback, this will attract new customers to your business.
PRO TIP - While addressing your happy customers or going into the meat of the conversation always include or mention another product or service with the feature to attract your customers. This in turn provides you with the room to showcase your products and services.
Guest - A happy and satisfied guest has posted positive feedback that food, ambiance, cleanliness was perfectly fine. The dining experience was awesome. I would for sure recommend this hotel to everyone!
Hotel Owner - Thanks for sparing your valuable time to appreciate our services. Everything is so perfect because we have the best guest. Thanks for appreciating the dining service we offer. If you’ve any suggestions that can make us even closer to your exact requirements, we would welcome it with an open heart. I would like to appreciate it if you come here again and try out the new dishes we’ve added on the menu last week only.
Thanks for the love you’ve shown to us!!
Why This Reply is Best - In the response, it is reflected that restaurateur opens up the conversation with gratitude and expressing thanks to the guest for appreciating the overall hotel services. The hotel owner also asks for suggestions to improve services with the phrase “If you’ve any suggestions that can make us even closer to your exact requirements, we would welcome it with the open heart.” This helps him to improve customer engagement. Last but not least, the hotel owner has smartly ended the response by showcasing his products or services by saying “I would like to appreciate you come here again and try out the new dishes we’ve added in the menu last week only.”
Key Takeaways: Explore Response Templates
Negative Feedback Response Template
Dear [NAME OF REVIEWER], thanks for sharing your feedback. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations. It was an uncommon instance and we’ll do better.
Please feel free reach out to [INSERT CONTACT INFORMATION] with any further comments, concerns, or suggestions you wish to share. We would love to make things right if you give us another chance.
Positive Feedback Response Template
Dear [NAME OF CUSTOMER], thanks for leaving us such a wonderful review. We are thrilled that you loved our experience; our staff will definitely be happy to read what you wrote.
We put customer experience and satisfaction as our priority, and your review reaffirms the hard work we put in every day. So thanks for your kind words and we look forward to seeing you again.