Agile approach of converting NPS Detractors to Promoters

Convert your detractors to promoters

When was the last time you made a purchase online without reading the reviews? Don’t recall right? You’re not alone. Almost 78% of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase (Spiegel Research Center).

In order to take complete advantage of the power of reviews to boost your brand image, you must be invested and engaged in talking to your customers. Understand what your customers are saying about your products or services. Did they love your product? Thank them for their loyalty. Were they dissatisfied? Close-loop and understand what went wrong. But most of all, engage with them!

Why should you respond to your customers?

Responding to feedback is an important step to take towards fostering trust with your customers. A heartfelt, well-written response coming from an employee can humanise a brand much more than just a ‘Like’ or a ‘Share’. Customers leaving feedback on social media expect to hear back from you immediately and not a templated acknowledgement to wait for a representative to get in touch with them.

While time is of the essence, it is easy to scroll past the positives and only focus on damage control. Or one may even find it tempting to just thank the positives and push the negatives under the rug. However, you’ll soon realise that responding to feedback requires balance. You’ll want to select both positive and negative feedback to get maximum returns from your time investment.

While it is important to respond on time and to everyone possible, it is also important to assign reviews/feedbacks to the right person. Did your customers talk about how a bad product quality resulted in health hazards? Probably the product team needs to be kept in the loop to address this query on a one-to-one interaction basis. While if a customer is talking about the unavailability of a shirt size in one of the stores, the store manager or the SKU manager would be the right person to address the issue.

That being said, it’s important for businesses to leverage customer feedback, both good and bad, to build their brands and stand apart from the crowd. Here are 10 pro tips to handle negative customer feedback that will help you convert your ‘Detractors’ to ‘Promoters’:

Pro-Tip #1: Don’t be aggressive and/or confrontational

Your reviews are in the public eye and so are your responses. Make sure they are truthful and show that you genuinely care about reaching the resolution. Regardless of how bad or untrue a feedback is, never respond in an aggressive or confrontational manner. Avoid getting into a debate!

Bad reviews with great responses on your part can show that you are a great company, as you always try to fix problems if they arise. A bad review may not be bad after all!

Pro-Tip #2: Only customers who care provide feedback of any kind

People leaving negative reviews want to be heard and want their issues resolved. As a brand, we may never learn about an issue unless a customer tells us. Addressing negative feedback can often be the best way to turn a dissatisfied customer into an advocating loyal customer.

Pro-Tip #3: Don’t delete, don’t hide, don’t ignore

Ignoring feedback will only make your company look worse to the negative reviewers as well as anybody who might stumble upon your page in the future. When negative feedback is written, a lot of times the reviewer will screenshot it, just in case the company decides to delete it. If it’s deleted, get ready for the screenshot of the negative review to be posted along with the comment, “They deleted my negative review!” Talk about bad press.

Pro-Tip #4: Listen, apologise, solve

Converting ‘Detractors’ to repeat buyers is the primary motive of every CX initiative. 70% of complaining customers will purchase your product or service, if you resolve their concerns. You should always respond to negative reviews, but be sure to tread lightly.

First, listen. It might be painful, but don’t disregard the feedback.

Second, apologize. This simple gesture can go further than you might think. Customers understand that everyone has a bad day.

Third, solve. If you respond with an attempt to make things right, other customers are likely to keep an open mind about the situation.

Pro-Tip #5: Look beyond the words

Reading between the lines often can unlock the real reason behind the negative review. Offer to make things right – whether its a gift card to recover the cost of the purchase, or waiving the bill amount – you’ll spend a lot less money trying to earn that customer back than you would be trying to acquire a new one.

It’s okay to realise that you may not be the best fit for your customers’ needs. Even the best companies can’t fit every shoe. Be authentic & polite. No reason to get in a shouting match or a finger pointing session in your review threads.

Pro-Tip #6: Reviews are the best marketing

Think of your responses not only as conversations but also as marketing for every other customer who is going to read it. You should not get into the details on public forums. Instead, you should concentrate on making your company look as professional as possible.

Platforms like LitmusWorld, aid in giving you a closed environment to talk to your customers, get into details, close-loop, and ensure your customers are serviced aptly.

Once done, get back to your public forum to thank them for raising their issue and how you have resolved the issue for them. Your customers will definitely talk about how responsive your customer service team is and recommend your company to others.

Pro-Tip #7: Thank them already!

No matter the review, the reason you have reviews in the first place is to get direct feedback from the people who matter the most – your customers! Even a bad review should be appreciated because it should be a stepping stone for growth within your company.

Since your customers have already left their opinionated reviews, there’s a good chance they have an idea of how you can, and should, be better. Why not ask them? We suggest do it via a private communication channel, in case you didn’t decide to go ahead with their suggestions, you would not want everyone seeing that you ignored a customer!

Good feedback is great, but negative feedback is crucial. Thank them!

Pro-Tip #8: Disaster management

Negative reviews or social media shaming that goes viral,  makes your management and employees get on the front line to address the customer concerns. Engage in a contextual conversation directly with the customer post an experience. This will help you capture the emotion in a private channel and close the issue without a public presence of this proceeding. However, you  always want to be prepared in advance with a set of commonly highlighted issues so your responses are planned and not always executed on the fly.

One of the best ways experience owners can protect themselves from negative reviews and social media shaming is by issuing an immediate public apology. There can be no delay. We’ve seen so many cases where large brands have issued public apologies. Right or wrong; the customer always ‘thinks’ they are right. Apologize.

Responding poorly to negative comments or reacting negatively to social media shaming often backfires. Marketing spends enormous amounts in building a positive brand image and enable in selling the products, but if the customer contact is not handled well, you will lose a customer forever.

Pro-Tip #9: Provide a go-to channel for consumers to share feedback

Whether you get feedback on a review site, or in a comment or a tweet, provide them with a conversation link to ensure that you want to address the issue but most importantly, make the silent spectators realise that these are not the channels to communicate with brands.

Comment readers often avoid brands because of the drama they witness in the review section or they may not be in favour of a brand’s nasty approach to handle customer grievances. At all cost, brands should hold the high ground by promising to resolve negative experiences and attempting to turn around ‘Detractors’.

Pro-Tip #10: Follow-up

Responding is not enough. Follow up with that customer and work out a solution. Track ageing of an issue and make sure your TAT gets smaller by the day. Then post a follow-up response briefly explaining the steps you are taking to correct the issue. Thank the customer for sharing their feedback. They are taking the time and effort to provide valuable information about a poor experience with your brand that you might not find out about otherwise.

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