Ever wondered why negative customer feedback, as prickly as it can be, might actually be the secret weapon to your business's success? In this episode, our host, Jeannie Walters, peels back the layers of this complex but vital aspect of customer experience management. We dive into the heart of the matter, debunking the myth that only positive feedback should get the spotlight. We explore the hidden value in those tough-to-hear comments and how they can become the catalysts for transforming your services and delighting your customers in ways you never imagined.
Join the discussion about the importance of an integrated feedback approach, where the good, the bad, and the innovative come together to give a 360-degree view of what your customers truly experience. Jeannie shares actionable insights on how to foster a culture that sees feedback as a gift—a chance to learn, grow, and excel. So, if you're ready to turn the tide on negative feedback and use it to your organization's advantage, this conversation is a must-listen. Tune in and empower yourself with strategies that ensure every piece of feedback is a stepping stone to elevating your customer experience.
Experience Investigators Learning Center -- experienceinvestigators.com
Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker and founder of Experience Investigators, a strategic consulting firm helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experiences. Ready, Set, Action. One, two, three, four.Jeannie Walters:
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you're excited about a great year ahead and I'm excited to be here back with you, with some of your amazing questions. My name is Jeannie Walters and I'm so glad you're here. Let's go ahead and jump into this fantastic question we got from a member of our audience, just like you.Listener Question:
I've been facing a bit of a challenge with my company where I've created a channel so all of the frontliners can share feedback from our clients, being it's positive, negative, suggestions, and ideas and, unfortunately, lately has become negative. So one of the managers was asking if the team can stop sending negative things, if we can create a channel for these separate issues, and I don't think that is the right thing to do. I feel that things that are reoccurring means that there is a deeper investigation that will happen. Excited to hear what you would advise.Jeannie Walters:
Oh, this is such a good question because I think this is something a lot of people have to tackle, and that's really understanding that customer feedback, both positive and negative, is a critical tool for organizational growth and delighting customers. Now, creating separate channels, as your manager suggested, for positive and negative feedback might seem like a way to protect team morale, but it actually creates a fragmented view of customer experiences. The key to leveraging customer feedback effectively is not to segregate it based on its nature, but to really embrace it so that it's acted upon constructively. I'm going to give you a few ideas to really tackle this conversation and hopefully explain why it's valuable to see all the feedback. Number one: we want to embrace all feedback. The good and the bad. In fact, negative feedback is as valuable, and sometimes more so, than positive feedback. One of the things I talk about is how, when we are thinking about our customers, we naturally think about those really wonderful customers who love us. Right, and I hear about this when I speak or when I train or when I'm working with clients. They say that to me all the time. They say, "Jeannie, you don't understand. Our customers love us and that's great, but if we're only thinking about the customers who already love us, we're not thinking about the customers who are unhappy, the customers who have a right to be disappointed, the customers who never became customers. Negative feedback actually gives us insights that we will never get from those positive, loyal customers. So we need to embrace this. It highlights areas for improvement and offers direct insight into the customer experience. According to a study by Esteban Kolsky, only one out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest just simply leave. So if they are taking the time to give us negative feedback, that actually means they care enough about the relationship to provide that feedback for us. That is a gift. Number two: we want to foster a culture of learning, not blame. I emphasize this a lot in the work that I do with clients. If it becomes a blame game and finger pointing that is not productive, you will start suppressing the truth in your organization. So we want to foster an organizational culture where feedback is seen as a learning opportunity. So, instead of viewing negative feedback as a failure, we want to view it as a chance to grow and improve. This mindset shift can help alleviate that distress that we feel sometimes when we view this negative feedback. Number three: we want an integrated approach. We want to use an integrated approach to feedback, seeing both the positive and negative side by side. It gives us a more holistic view of the customer experience, so this can help in identifying patterns and areas where the positives can be amplified. Let's learn from them and use those best practices in different parts of the journey. And, of course, we want to look at the negatives, and how do we mitigate those things? How do we prevent those situations from happening? All of that is important, but we need to have an integrated view of feedback. Number four: we want to make sure we're looking for those actionable insights. There are people in this world, I know this is going to shock you, there are people in this world who just love to complain, aren't there, and sometimes they complain about things that you say, "well, yeah, you know what. I'm going to share something here. I just had this happen. We have all these wonderful free resources that we offer on our site, right, and we do that because we want to provide you value and make the world a better place through positive customer experiences. Every once in a while, somebody will download a resource and they happen to be a Grumpy Gus and they reach out to us and say, well, this resource didn't include this or this resource didn't actually run my workshop for me or something that we didn't promise, and also it's not part of that agreement that we have yet. They're just kicking the tires. We're giving them things that we hope will bring them value, but we're not in a customer relationship yet. Some of those now we try to reply to everybody, but some of those we have to let go, and so I encourage you when you're looking at feedback, look for actionable insights. Ensure that there is a clear process for turning feedback into actionable insights. Negative feedback we need to follow that up with a plan for how to address the issues raised. So this is where we want to act like an organization that values and acts upon customer input. If we say we're customer centric, this is absolutely imperative. So, yes, there will be times where you look at feedback that is not productive, that is not actionable, and I give you permission to let that go. However, make sure you err on the side of having a bias towards actionable insights. What can we learn from this and what can we do about it? If you agree, you know what. We can't do anything, because this is just the situation and maybe they misunderstood or they are looking for a totally different product that we don't sell, something like that. Then you can give yourself permission to say, hey, I'm sorry you feel that way and let that go. But if you use that lens of really looking for actionable insights, what happens is you start asking bigger questions. You start saying, well, wow, what, what happened? Why did they think that's what we promised? Was there something in our communication? And maybe there was, and maybe it's something you can address. So look for those actionable insights. But again, I realize none of us are perfect and our customers aren't either. So if you get a Grumpy Gus sometimes you've got to let that go. Number five: communication and transparency. We want to keep communication open. That has to be a huge part of what we do as customer experience leaders. So regularly share with not only your team but other teams how customer feedback, both positive and negative, has led to tangible improvements. This is not only motivating for the team, but it also reinforces the value of all types of feedback. And finally, number six: I'm going to give you what we just talked about. If we say customer centric culture is a goal, this means we have to act like that's true. We can't just talk about it, we have to put action behind those words. So this is understanding that every piece of feedback is a gift and an opportunity to better align with customer needs and expectations. If we're using that, lens towards actionable insights, if we're in a culture of learning, not blame, if we're using an integrated approach to this, keeping up transparency and communication, what that does is it creates a space where you get authentic, honest feedback that turns into meeting needs better for customers. Good, that's what we all want. Asking bigger questions, innovating in powerful ways based on the feedback that you get. All of that happens when you have an integrated approach to feedback. So, instead of looking at this as negative for employee morale, see if you can shift the conversation to really answer wow, we got this piece of negative feedback. Here are the actionable insights that I think we can gather from it. Here is how we can communicate this and just take those next steps in a very positive way, instead of going back and saying who's responsible? And we need to get to the bottom of this and go after the team who put this in action. We wanna get away from that culture of blame and if you can do that, then you'll create a really amazing culture where you're working hand in hand with your customers and they feel heard, and that's a big part of what we want to. We want our customers to feel heard and understood. We wanna close that loop with them. So if you are in that environment where maybe it's not the culture of your dreams right now, maybe you are in a situation where there's a lot of blame going around, think about this in this holistic way, because segregating feedback based on if it's negative or positive, that can really lead to a skewed understanding of the customer, their experience, and it creates missed opportunities for improvement. Instead, an integrated, constructive approach to all feedback can drive meaningful change and foster a more customer-centric culture. This is such a great question because I know a lot of listeners are dealing with this and sometimes we have to educate, we have to help our leaders understand that customer experience is not something to just talk about. It is a mindset, a strategy and a discipline. And listening to feedback and really taking that integrated approach and applying it to those actionable insights that is a huge part of both the strategy and the discipline. And once you do that enough, you start seeing the mindset shift. You start seeing people who will embrace this because they understand the value of it. Thank you so much. What a great way to kick off the year with this fabulous question. And, of course, if you have a question for me, we are all ears, so please leave me a voicemail at askjeannie. vip that's askjeannie with 2 n's .vip. As always, I'm so glad you're here with me. Check out experienceinvestigators. com for all those resources I mentioned and make sure you reach out. Let me know how you're doing. You don't just have to leave me questions. You can give me an example to share or just let me know if you are inspired or motivated or feeling a little discouraged this year. I'd love to hear from you. We are in this together. Thanks again, and I'll talk to you next week. To learn more about our strategic approach to experience. Check out free resources at experienceinvestigators. com where you can sign up for our newsletter, our Year of CX program and more, and please follow me, Jeannie Walters, on LinkedIn.