Embracing Negative Feedback

What do you do when you notice that someone on Twitter is bashing your product? So many businesses just ignore negative feedback, using a head-in-the-sand technique. Why? They’re either hoping that by ignoring them the naysayers will disappear, they’re a little afraid of them or they just don’t know how to respond.

How do you deal with negative feedback or push-back from customers? I suggest you embrace the criticism and engage with the customer.

There is always risk in engagement. But, handled correctly, the multiplied benefits of others seeing you reach out to someone who isn’t happy, offer a solution and attempt to make them happy far outweighs the one negative response from the original comment.

Reaching out shows you’re listening to your community. It shows you care. And responding in a public forum gives you an opportunity to build brand awareness. How you interact with this customer is one of the stories that will be told (by this and many customers) about your brand.

Perhaps the criticism is a valid point: perhaps your product is grainy. Acknowledge the point, thank the customer for the feedback and let them know that you value it so much that you’re going to pass it along to your research and development team. Offer a money-back guarantee and a free coupon to try another product. If this approach doesn’t win them over, nothing will.

Remember: for every person who kvetches about your product, you have ten brand advocates who ADORE your it. Respond from a point of confidence, knowing that you have a great product.

Here are some specific examples of language you could use when responding to disgruntled customers via Twitter.

  1. @Mary_Rarick, thanks for trying XYZ product. Sorry you didn’t care for it. Perhaps you’d enjoy this flavor: bit.ly (with a link to the product’s page on the site)
  2. @Mary_Rarick, it looks like our XYZ product was disappointing. I’m sorry to hear that. DM me for coupons or a full refund.

Do you have a specific example that has you puzzled? Let me know, and let’s figure it out.


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About Mary Rarick

Caffeine-addicted hyphen enthusiast, grammar geek and former editor; lover of shoes, vacuum cleaner tracks and compelling content; enthusiastic, perennial cause adopter; hash tag abuser, connector and social media strategist.
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