"I hate your company!" - Dealing with bad feedback

With the abundance of ways to get in touch with companies these days, it's hard to get away from negative feedback. But is it all doom and gloom?

Back in 2010 pizza giant Domino's experienced a major PR Disaster from a video involving employees putting cheese up their noses and on to pizzas. In a drastic shift in strategy, Domino's decided to ask their customers for Immediate and honest feedback on their products, and in a twist, made some of them public. Feedback included pizza crust tasting like cardboard, its tomato sauce having the consistency of ketchup and that they felt frozen pizza was superior to Domino’s.

Not looking good was it? But here's the thing... Instead of feeling sorry for themselves and going home on their delivery mopeds, to sit watching Bridget Jones and eat..well...pizza, Domino's actually did something about it. It launched a campaign called Pizza Turnaround, to reinvent the pizza from the crust up. As a result, Domino’s reported one of the largest quarterly same-store sales jumps ever recorded by a major fast-food chain. And since then, Domino’s has kept it's open dialogue with its customers using a variety of emerging digital channels, like social media. (The brand currently has an impressive 10 million fans on Facebook.) 

Negative feedback is never nice to hear, bit if you use it right, your business can greatly benefit. In the words of Bill Gates, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” And it's a very valid point. With the growth of social media, any business can engage in open dialogue. Don't be frightened by bad feedback and hit that delete button. Instead learn from it and engage with your customers by offering to help.

Our top tips

  1. Don’t take it personally: Most rants online come from genuine reasons. They may be fuelled up, over exaggerated, and blown up words of hate, but a lot of the time they may come when a certain expectation hasn't been met. See these as opportunities to show how good your customer service can be. You may find  ways to improve your products or services.
  2. Let them speak: Removing or ignoring negative feedback is the worse thing you can do.  It makes customers think you don't care, and shows your business in a bad light to others. Instead, reply in a helpful and friendly way, and show to everyone that you do care.
  3. Take It Offline: Once you've acknowledged the customers feedback, invite them to continue the conversation by phone or email for example. It shows others that you do respond, and are happy to deal with their problems further. It also helps contain further rants online!
  4. Fix it: Most of the time there's a fairly simple solution that can be offered. If you can, try and help them out. A lot of the time you'll even get good feedback as a result.

Clients we've worked with

BCS Academy    Cityscape Maps Ltd    Gelder Group    Lincoln College    Lincolnshire Scouts    BBC Radio Lincolnshire    Lincs FM Group