7 ways to respond to a participant's negative feedback
Learn how to best respond to negative comments and benefit your business!
Effective techniques for responding to negative feedback from a participant
Sometimes it can happen that even an event planner may receive negative feedback despite their best efforts. In this guide we want to share with you how to handle critical comments by email or with questionnaires. Negative reviews, in fact, could be a problem for the company in terms of reputation, especially if we consider the negative impact of these on potential customers at every stage of conversion.
1. Go straight to the problem
When you receive negative feedback, it is good practice, as a first step, to ask for all the details of the situation that the person experienced, with special attention on the most critical or unpleasant aspects. This approach will allow you to get straight to the point and focus only on the problem clearly and, therefore, also on the goal to be solved.
2. Make a distinction between constructive criticism and unfair criticism
When we talk about negative feedback, we can distinguish between two main types: constructive criticism and unfair criticism.
The former are a valuable commodity: they are critiques in which a client recognizes the positives and rationally dwells on the elements that he or she believes are sources of criticism, explaining and providing advice or comments for consideration. We suggest that you accept this feedback in good faith: ask yourself honestly and objectively whether the customer's opinion reflects reality and use this opportunity to improve your work.
In contrast, unconstructive reviews are easily recognized by aggressive tones and the use of poorly argued and justified accusations.
In the next few lines we explain how best to respond.
3. Abandon judgments and accept responsibility
If your company actually has responsibilities, it is important to adopt objective and reasonable behavior, accept criticism and apologize.
That's right: if you are wrong, admit it right away. We assure you that this attitude will pay off in a positive way.
As a study of customer anger showed, only 37 percent of angry customers were satisfied in return for financial compensation.
In cases, on the other hand, where companies had also apologized, satisfaction had increased to 74 percent.
4. Provide an explanation of what happened
Another secret: If you can trace an explanation of what happened, give it to the client right away. It does not have to be a justification, but a simple justification of the facts.
We'll give you an example: in the course of a psychological study on this topic, a person being tested asked colleagues who were about to use a photocopier in the bookstore if he could stop by.
The first time, he did so without giving them any reasons. In that case, for 60% of people there was no problem. However, when the phrase, "because I have to print some documents," was added, the percentage increased to 93%. With a more solid reason such as "it's really urgent," the consensus even increased to 95%.
5. Take the conversation offline
Get in touch with those who criticize you and try to meet in person.
Bringing the conversation offline is an excellent strategy: as we said earlier, a negative review is in the public eye, and this can be no small problem for the brand reputation perceived by the established or potential target audience.
6. Offer a solution
If you can, offer a refund or discount as a solution to the problem or propose a replacement of the product very quickly.
When immediate and concrete support cannot be guaranteed, we recommend that you clearly communicate what you are doing to resolve the case, regardless of the nature of the solution that seems best to you.
Even more important tip: Try to promise only what you can deliver.
7. Show gratitude and reflect on the feedback received
Every review, even the most unpleasant and unfair, deserves a response and a clear thank you, especially on social media. Indeed, the first step in dealing with dissatisfaction in your community is to put yourself in your users' shoes and, even more so, make them feel welcomed and understood.
We like to reiterate that negative feedback in some cases can become a great opportunity for growth for you and your company. Take some time to think calmly about the opinion that has been expressed and, if necessary, allow some time to think about it "cold."
Example of a response to negative feedback
The best advice we can give you for responding to negative feedback is always and only: use maximum empathy. Make your customer feel considered (and, if you can, even pampered) and he won't forget it so easily.
Here are a few examples of incipits that can calm the waters a bit:
- "I apologize for the inconvenience..."
- "We apologize for..."
- "I understand how important this is to your workflow."
- "I can absolutely understand how frustrating it would be (...)."
- "It would bother me too if..."
In conclusion, we suggest that you learn about the best ways to increase attendee interaction at an event-we bet it will be useful for your business, too!