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It's sometimes surprising to see how some customer service reps and managers panic when they hear consumers complain. This is especially true in small businesses, which often seem to act as though even the smallest mistake is something that might cause them to lose business. However, businesses that understand the importance of bad customer feedback know how to leverage those complaints to their own advantage.
Here's the thing to remember: most customers never offer any reaction. It doesn't matter whether the product or service is good or bad. Most just pay their bills and move on. If they approve of what you did they will be back. If they disliked your product or service, they probably won't ever return. Meanwhile, you'll never know the difference.
As a business owner, you need to know. Since the vast majority of consumers remain silent, you have few opportunities to learn what your customers are actually thinking. Now, out of the remaining minority of consumers who will offer opinions, how many do you suppose will be critical? The answer is simple: not many at all.
That's right. Only a tiny portion of that minority of outspoken customers will have anything negative to say. However, that group will be your strongest critics. As tempting as it might be to ignore such a small minority, you need to remember that theirs could very well be the only negative opinions you will consistently receive.
Customers who complain can offer useful insight into a variety of areas in your business. They can let you know how your products compare to competitors. They have critical insights into the quality of your staff, and of customer service overall. They can even offer their criticism of your entire business model. The question is what to do with that information.
Some of the savviest entrepreneurs around received profitable ideas from listening to the complaints of customers. Many gained greater insight into niches within their markets that were not being properly served. Some have even received ideas for new products or services just by hearing what currency customers claimed they wanted.
So, the next time you receive poor reviews from one of your patrons, look upon it as a good thing. Dissatisfied customers whose complaints are met with care and concern can often turn out to be the most loyal customers of all. Just address their issues and learn from their criticism, and you'll discover just how critically important that type of feedback can be in helping you to achieve the success you desire.