Agent Motivation

4 Best Practices for Dealing with Negative Customer Feedback

As much as we all live for five-star reviews, the occasional complaint is inevitable. It’s how brands respond and recalibrate—in real time—that sets truly customer-centric companies apart from the rest. 

That’s why every business needs a strategy for managing negative customer feedback. To help you get started, here are four tactics that have worked for Stella Connect clients like and Williams-Sonoma.

Best Practices for Dealing with Negative Customer Feedback

#1: Get ahead of feedback—good and bad—by asking for it in real-time….

Best Practices for Dealing with Negative Customer Feedback

Researchers have found that customers are more vocal about negative experiences than positive ones—with individuals likely to tell nine people about good interactions and 16 people about not so pleasant ones.

By proactively checking in using real-time customer feedback requests, individuals get the chance to have their concerns heard by those who can immediately take action, address any issues, learn, and improve.

When Stella Connect client introduced real-time feedback requests, they not only discovered how well they were doing—earning 4.6 stars out of 5.0—sending these surveys led to positive word-of-mouth marketing as tens of thousands of Jet customers shared positive experiences on social media.

#2: …then address it in the moment with live coaching and QA with front-line agents.

Best Practices for Dealing with Negative Customer Feedback

Brands like Williams-Sonoma have reinvented the QA process by throwing old (ineffective, slow) training methods and instead adopting real-time coaching powered by in-the-moment customer feedback to improve service performance.

By providing ongoing teachable moments for CX agents, the retailer has seen its NPS improve by more than 50%.

#3: Make sure customers never slip through the cracks.

Best Practices for Dealing with Negative Customer Feedback

The only thing worse than a customer complaint is a customer complaint getting lost in the shuffle.

Thanks to leveraging Stella Connect’s technology to power its service recovery process—making sure no urgent item goes unnoticed, online brand management platform Yext is now able to follow through with clients who report issues, in the moment.

As a result of partnering with Stella Connect, the company has seen its CSAT scores improve, with one of its teams seeing an eight-point jump in satisfaction and average scores well above 90%.

#4: Prevent negative feedback to begin with by adapting company policies, products, and services in response to changing customer needs.

Nobody likes experiencing the same issue over and over again. It’s frustrating. For customers and agents. Especially if it can be prevented.

That’s where brands like Birchbox have turned to use CX insights and trends to drive product and policy improvements. By iterating over time in this manner, brands can prevent certain types of negative feedback altogether.

What Is Your Brand Doing About Negative Customer Feedback?

There’s no denying the motivational power of receiving positive customer feedback—whether it’s a kind shoutout on social media, a quick compliment over the phone, or a perfect 5/5 customer customer satisfaction rating—but it’s negative customer feedback that helps CX professionals, teams, and companies improve and grow. 

After all, companies aren’t in the business of selling products or services, they’re in the business of meeting customer needs.

That’s why brands must take these needs into consideration—and keep on adapting and improving—to ultimately keep customers coming back. When you consider that increasing customer retention by just 5% can lead to a 25% to 95% boost in profitability, it’s this repeat business that drives overall business success. 

Ready to join best-in-class CX teams from the world’s leading brands who have partnered with Stella Connect to get ahead of negative feedback—and even prevent it, when possible? Request your free demo today