Customer Experience

Why Negative Customer Experiences Spread and How to Handle Them

When customers have a less-than-stellar experience, chances are they’re going to shout it to the masses. Here’s how to stop that from happening.

Have you ever heard the saying “any publicity is good publicity”? It couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to the experiences of your customers. When a customer has a negative experience with your brand and airs that grievance in a public way, it can have a major effect on your company.

According to this 2013 survey, customers are much more likely to share negative stories about a company than positive ones. Ninety-five percent of respondents said that they’ve shared an unfortunate experience. When clients feel that they’ve been wronged, they have a desire to share their grievances for a variety of reasons. If they don’t feel that your business listened to them, they’re probably trying to seek out someone who will. They may also feel that it’s their duty to warn potential buyers not to do business with you. Anger and rage can make people do things they normally wouldn’t, like blast a company on social media.

So, what should you do if a customer is sharing a negative experience? If you feel that your company is genuinely being affected, reach out to the clients. Try to get to the bottom of the situation. Were they truly wronged, or are they just the type of customer who will never be satisfied? See if there’s anything you can do to turn their negative experience into a positive one. If nothing else, it will demonstrate that there are actual human beings behind your brand that care for your clients and want the best results possible for them. It will also hopefully let them know that you see their frustration, which might make them stop their rapid-fire posting.

If the incident has spread widely, consider speaking to the public with a statement. You could offer an explanation for what went wrong and how you tried to solve the issue. Again, even if you can’t go back and undo a mistake, it’s vital to let people know that you heard about the issue and are actually attempting to do something about it.

At the end of the day, you won’t make every customer happy. You’re bound to have at least a couple of negative reviews or angry tweets. But the best you can do is try to tackle the problems at hand and end things on good terms. Even if you can’t save the relationship with a customer, you could save plenty of potential future ones by putting out negativity fires.