Negative Feedback is Not Bad

Some companies are afraid to jump into the social media waters because of potential negative feedback.  They do have one thing right, there will be negative feedback no matter how good your social media poststampscompany or product is.  Good companies embrace negative feedback because:

a) free information about potential product/service deficiencies

b) gives them a chance to correct the problem

c) it’s an opportunity to shine with the customer in a public forum by listening & responding

d) creates a seamless path to have an ongoing conversation with the customer

Well, if you still aren’t sold by the above reasons than you may be persuaded by this:  having reviews, even those with negative comments, actually helps drive more sales.  At least one small business owner found this out first hand.  The story and findings are highlighted in a timely CNNMoney article by Jennifer Alsever [“Even bad reviews boost sales”].

The article points out that AlpacaDirect saw sales climb 23% on items that had customer reviews, even for products receiving bad customer reviews like the golf cardigan which received a few three out of five star ratings for being “kinda sweaty” and a “poor fit.”  The article has a few other helpful tidbits and is worth a read.

It’s funny that several years ago when company’s received feedback in the mail (yes the kind with a stamp on it) whether it was good, bad or indifferent, they were excited.  After all, they actually received some form of feedback.  Well, it’s time to get excited about real-time customer feedback via social media, even the negative kind.

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9 responses to “Negative Feedback is Not Bad

  1. the important thing to remember is that because it is so easy to leave feedback, unlike in tv and radio, we count negative on a one person per feedback basis where as tv it would be 10-12 people per feedback. negative feedback is to be expected. keeping it low can mean you;re doing a good job

  2. One of the first thing you learn when you are working in sales in that every bad or good response in far better than no response at all.

    Bad review / opinion give you the opportunity to correct things, and if you handle it in the right way you can even earn better reputation than you had before.

    Not to mention that any connection with your customer is better than no connection at all.

  3. One of the first thing you learn when you are working in sales in that every bad or good response in far better than no response at all.

    Bad review / opinion give you the opportunity to correct things, and if you handle it in the right way you can even earn better reputation than you had before.

    No to mention that any connection with your customer is better than no connection at all.

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about negative comments. When I talk to my customers, this topic comes up, usually it is one of their first questions. Some of them are really shocked when I do a Twitter Search about their company name and they realize what is being said about their company. But they don’t realize that this happens anyways and when they become an active member in the Social Media World, they can react to these negative comments and offer a solution! Thanks again for sharing!
    Maria
    Market Your Startup

  5. Another reason not to fear negative feedback: IF you handle it well you can come out looking responsive to your customers and actually improve your image. Examples:
    1. Dell burning laptops and servers. They listened to customers and fixed the problems. Dell is #1 rated technology brand in social media today.
    2. Facebook Mini-Feed. Facebook quickly added privacy controls.

    Roger Nolan
    http://rbnolan.wordpress.com/

  6. I agree that most companies are very fearful of beginning their presence in the social media world due to potential negative feedback. It can almost be polarizing. What they don’t understand is that it is (like you said) and opportunity to engage customers, make improvements, etc. They just have to watch how they handle it so they don’t turn into the “United Breaks Guitars” viral stuff – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

  7. Negative feedback is important, I agree, but not as much as reacting appropriately to negative feedback.

    These are the sort of issues that a social media strategy worhty of that name has to deal with before the event.

    A modicum of online crisis management skills are necessary and must be an integral part of the training program prior to social media implementation I have always advocated.

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