Most people will tell you that nobody likes a complainer.
Someone who harps on what’s not working is generally seen as a “drain” on “positive” energy that demotivates.
It only takes a small shift in perspective, though, to turn complainers into one of a business owner’s greatest assets.
There’s a universal truth about complainers: They want to be heard. 👂📢 Over the last couple of decades, customers have come to expect a more democratic approach to their relationships with brands. The advent of the internet has given consumers instant access to a seemingly unlimited number of brands and direct access to decision makers within those brands.
If you’re willing to acknowledge and solve the issues of an angry customer publicly (say, on Twitter or in a negative review), you can build trust not just with that customer, but with all future potential customers who see it. You can also incorporate that feedback into your brand strategy, increasing the value of your product or service.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Not all complainers can be soothed, and some must be let go for the mental health of the responder.
Another issue is that people are not always fully aware of what they truly want. A study was done on coffee drinkers where they were first asked what kind of coffee they preferred to drink. Most said they liked it bold and strong. ☕ A blind taste test revealed, though, that most people preferred their coffee weak and milky. 🍼 Sometimes, pleasing your customers means reading between the lines or going the extra mile to make sure that what they’re saying matches what they actually prefer. 🔍
With all of that in mind, talk to us about how you get customer feedback. How do you collect and analyze the data? Have you ever implemented something because of a negative comment? Has there ever been a time where an interaction with an upset customer became a positive for you?
Consider sharing your feedback in our Facebook Group, Tactical, a community with daily content for business owners, marketers, and designers developing brands.