Why negative feedback is positive

Very few of us can take in critique with a smile on their face. If we did that, we’d either be convinced that the person giving us feedback is wrong. Or we’d be particularly willing to improve ourselves. However, we all need negative feedback as well, in order to evolve as workers, bosses, spouses – members of any community. Giving and receiving feedback is a skill and just like any other skill, it can be practised.

We at Roidu know something about feedback, it being the core of our business. In our work, we see how people and organizations grow into receiving feedback. Those that quickly learn to utilize negative feedback most effectively in developing their customer service, prosper and their customer satisfaction often rises to an impressive level. Of course, customer satisfaction might not necessarily increase quickly everywhere. For example in large, hierarcial organizations changes cannot be made quickly. And some things, like the waiting periods of public dental clinics might never change. But high customer satisfaction is still worth striving for.

Customer experience guides consumer behaviour increasingly more

Most Finnish companies are clearly offering MVS: minimum viable service. Meaning the lowest accetable service level that still brings most of the customers back to their store. They are not even aiming for better, because they assume good customer experience costs too much and requires unnecessary hassle. The fact is, however, that customer experience guides consumer behaviour continuously more, as there is increasingly more options due to globalization, and you can read other people’s experiences online and in social media and especially because consumers have learnt to expect and demand good customer service.

Fortunately others think that offering a good customer experience is self-evident. The customers of one of our customers are so satisfied (NPS®️ 100) that our customer never gets negative feedback and they think it’s worrying. On the other hand, they fear that their customers don’t dare to critique them even anonymously. On the other hand, they worry how they can improve and offer their customers better service without improvement ideas. Others might appreciate near perfect customer satisfaction levels, but their wish to have negative feedback is right, because self-improvement is highly important and also, with the words of our customer: “so that we don’t get too self-satisfied”.

Unfortunately, getting too positive feedback isn’t a problem most companies face. One might hope that companies would even aim to offer good customer service and be interested in the satisfaction level of their customers. Negative feedback is always an opportunity for improvement – this sort of mindset should be implemented throughout company culture. Those that understand the importance of customer experience and learn to utilize customer feedback most effectively, will succeed in the prevailing change in service culture.

Read about how to respond to negative customer feedback in a way that leaves the customer satisfied.