How To Handle Negative Feedbacks From Your Startup Customers
One of the most daunting things about going out and asking for random feedback is receiving negative feedback. Negative feedback can lead to discouragement, lost of motivation, and just plain confusion about your startup’s goal and future. The first and foremost thing that you have to understand is that there are always going to be negative feedback no matter how good your product is. Facebook had terrible feedbacks in the beginning and so did all the other startup giants. Handling negative feedback is not easy. Here are some tips on how to handle negative feedbacks from your startup customers.
Use Negative Feedbacks As An Advantage
Feedbacks regardless if it is negative or positive can be useful information for your company. It is always better to have some feedbacks than none. Use your negative feedbacks as an advantage for improving your startup’s product. If someone told you that your app sucks because it doesn’t have geolocation, then you could use that feedback and implement a geolocation system.
Startups are meant to pivot and a lot of times you won’t know which direction to pivot towards unless you have feedback. Never ever get discouraged due to negative feedbacks because in a way it is helping you improve.
Think of it like this, would you rather be living under a rock thinking that your startup’s product is best in the world or would you actually want to drive more user and referrals to your product through improving it? Take negative feedbacks as an advantage.
Negative feedbacks can come from all over the place. Be active on all social media platforms, email, surveys, and anything else you use to connect with your customers. An example would be something that happened to me with Delta Airlines. The flight was delayed and the employees provided minimum to no support about it. I made a couple of tweets tagging Delta Airlines and someone from their social media team replied to me right away with an apology and a coupon offer. That is the only reason why I will still fly Delta Airlines.
As you can tell from the example above, it is crucial that your startup respond to negative feedbacks quickly. Determine the problem that your customer is experience and try to put yourself in their shoes. If it is a technical error, report it to your tech team and have them fix it right away. Don’t put negative feedbacks on the bottom of your to-do list, instead put it at the very top. Making one customer happy will reward your startup in the long run when you need it.
Show Empathy For Negative Feedbacks
Sometime a customer might complain out of the blue with no particular reason. The best way to approach this is to tell the customer that you understand their problem. Always put yourself in your customer’s shoe. Maybe the customer is just having a bad day and your product irritated them some more. First thing first is to tell them that you understand their problem and then try to analyze the feedback some more to see how you can adjust to their pain points.
Never do you want to enter a debate with a customer. In Chinese, we have a saying called, “The good rarely spreads, but the bad will spread 1000 miles” That’s a rough translation. In detail, it means that the negative feedbacks can spread quickly through word of mouth. You might think that one person’s negative feedback might not be a major impact on your startup, but in fact that one person’s negative feedback can spread 1000 miles. Always try your best to keep your customer happy by showing excellent customer service.
Apologize And Add A Coupon
Really, coupons are the key to success in keeping a customer happy. Not only does it drive you more revenue, but it is a way to make the customer feel special. Imagine having a free coupon or a discount for a product that you love and already use. This will make you feel good about the product and continue using it despite the fact that you ran into problems.
When a customer complains ensure that you apologize first even if it’s not your fault. Apologize for any inconvenience that your customers ran into and look into it right away. Again, this makes the customer feel special and they might continue to use your product even after experiencing problems. It is always smart to end the conversation by asking the customer to give you more feedbacks about what the customers think about the product. Even if the customer is 100% satisfied, ask them how could you improve your product. Turn negative feedbacks into positive feedbacks and offer them a coupon for the feedback.
Detail All The Negative Feedbacks And Discuss It With Your Team
Make sure that you detail or write down all the negative feedbacks that you are receiving. Of course, there is no way for your team to adjust and pivot to every single feedback, but it is important that you detail them down and handle the main ones. The most important ones are the technical ones. Negative technical feedbacks should be the ones that you fix first because chances are that more than one customer will be running into the same issue.
When you’re rolling out a new update it is crucial to get as many negative feedbacks as possible. Most of the time 50% of the people will not like your startup’s new update or idea, but eventually if your product is good, the customers will adjust to it. For example, when Facebook rolled out the timeline, more than 50% of the people didn’t like it, but now everyone is ok with it. Facebook added a lot of changes to the timeline and pivoted according to the feedbacks. Facebook never went back to the original public profile page, but they took all the negative feedbacks and made adjustments.
Another thing your startup could do is evaluate the update idea before implementing the update. Ask your existing customers if they would like this new feature before launching it. Having a surprise launch might be nice, but it can also make a lot of customers feel unhappy. People do not like leaving their comfort zone and that is why it is important to add small changes slowly. Try your best to obtain as many feedbacks as you could from different sources and sum it up together with your team to ensure that this update will bring in excellent results.
Always remember that no matter how good your product is, there will still be negative feedbacks. Some people are jealous, some are just unhappy, or some customers are having a bad day. Take every negative feedback seriously and do your best to put the negative feedbacks to your advantage.