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Topic(s): Metrics & Methodology

Don't Fear Your Detractors

hello customer blog don't fear your detractors


The Net Promotor System (NPS) allows you to listen to your customers and collect their feedback at the same time. Lots of companies have implemented NPS successfully. Still, companies doubt to start using the system. A question we regularly get is "What if we only get negative feedback?" We understand that question. Nobody likes to get negative feedback. But still, there's no need to fear it. 

Giving customers the possibility to send their feedback straight to you as a company is a good thing. When they're served badly and you don't ask them to share their feedback with you, they'll share it elsewhere. And in most cases a private email with a complaint is far better than a public tweet, isn't it?

Learn from your detractors

When your detractors take the time to give you their feedback, make sure you do something with it. It would be rude not coming back to them with an appropriate answer. Imagine staying at a hotel and seeing that there are no towels in the bathroom. When you call the reception to explain the problem you get the following answer: "Thanks for your message, we'll keep it in mind next time you visit our hotel. Have a nice stay." That didn't really solve the problem, right?

Getting feedback from your customers allows companies to get real time information about how their products or services score. The best customer centric companies are the ones that take action immediately. Have you received five complaints about a broken or damaged product arriving to the customer? Maybe there's something wrong with the packaging. The flaws your customers find are actually very informative. They offer you a chance to improve your product or your service.

Interact with your customers

The Hello Customer platform allows you to send automatic responses to everyone. There's even a possibility to choose a different message for each score that was given. When customers gave a high score, nine to ten, you can send them a message to thank them for their enthusiasm. When they gave a six or less, you can send a message telling them you appreciate their feedback, that someone will look into the case and will get back to them with an answer as soon as possible. You should at least respond to the ones that really need some extra attention.


When faced with a negative comment, on Facebook for example, it's important not to consider it as a reflection on you personally. Don't go into defense when handling the comment. Defensive reactions can escalate the issue and become a public discussion.


If it turns out that your business made a mistake, don't hide it. It may sound easier to delete or ignore the comment, but that only makes it worse. Mistakes happen. Best way to get past them is to deal with them and head on. If someone posted a negative comment analyze the complaint first. Make sure you know exactly what it's about. For public comments: apologize publicly and then continue in a private conversation to resolve the problem.


When it comes to responding to feedback, employees have a lot of questions:

  • How do we need to respond to negative feedback on social media?
  • How can we stay empathic without losing our name as a company?
  • How can we avoid discussions?

Don't expect your employees to know what to do. Don't leave them to their fate. Offer them coaching moments, make sure they have a script with points they need to follow. Outstanding customer service requires knowledge, practice and above all dedication.

Deal with complaints

A complaint exists of two parts: facts and perception. Common mistake that is made: we pay too much attention to the first part. But in reality it's the second part that needs the most attention. Of course it's important the problem is solved. But what's far more important, is that the customer has the feeling you're listening to what he has to say.

Dealing with detractors isn't easy. But if your employees see unsatisfied customers as an opportunity to score or as an opportunity to surprise the customer, then you can really make the difference as an organization.

And don't forget, your detractors can become your best ambassadors!