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Customer relationship: transform your critics into promoters

Whatever the market in which you operate and whatever the excellence of your products or services, you will always have a few dissatisfied customers who will let you know! Comments from disgruntled customers can potentially damage your company’s reputation and even have a significant impact on your business development over the long term.

In fact, 91% of dissatisfied customers will not come back to you and a bad communicated customer experience reaches twice as many ears as a good experience. And to top it off, for each dissatisfied customer who leaves a negative opinion, there are 26 other dissatisfied customers who do not express themselves!

But that does not mean that dissatisfied customers are inevitable and that nothing can be done. It’s all the more important to take care of it because at least a quarter of the value of a business is based on its reputation. It therefore makes sense to want to preserve it.

How to transform these negative experiences into positive interactions?

First priority: measure! We believe it is essential that you identify precisely the extent of the dissatisfaction. For this it will be necessary to set up a measurement tool. The best known is called the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

détracteur - promoteurThe Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) is one of the most commonly used indicators of the customer experience for businesses around the world. It is defined as the index of position of a company to the question: “How likely are you to recommend this company?”

In an NPS survey, customers respond on a scale of 0 to 10. Customers who give scores between 0 and 6 are identified as detractors. They can potentially negatively influence their network. Conversely, promoters give a score of 9 or 10 and will probably spread a positive image of your business.

You can then calculate your company’s NPS score using the following formula: NPS =% promoters -% detractors.

This tool will allow you to:

  • Segment your customers according to their level of satisfaction,
  • Identify the motivations of dissatisfied and at risk customers but also the most loyal,
  • Evaluate your progress thanks to a unique indicator, interesting to motivate your team,
  • Compare your score to that of your competitors or those of your industry,
  • Monitor improvements to your products or services throughout the customer journey.

We therefore invite you to find out from your usual marketing providers how to implement this indicator.


But whether or not you have a measure in place, knowing how to properly handle comments from dissatisfied customers is imperative. We therefore offer 4 simple but effective ideas to implement and whatever your sector of activity:

1. Respond as quickly as possible to all customer comments

A study found that more than 80% of customers consider it “important to very important” to have an immediate response to a comment whether it is on a product or on the experience of customer service.

Obviously, no one likes to read negative reviews. But it’s even worse to see them with zero response from the company in question. It gives customers the impression that you just don’t care about them, even if they don’t! Nothing is more frustrating for a customer to see a company that is not responding. This only reinforces the negative experience and increases the chances of negative publications in the future. Conversely, positive comments that thank or congratulate can significantly increase your customer conversion rate. They are also not to be ignored.

Negative or positive, we advise you to respond systematically and quickly. Your response should also be as personal as possible. An important but necessary time investment, under penalty of seeing your potential for customer attraction or retention erode.

Whether they are part of your basic marketing strategy or not, social media will increasingly occupy an important part of your brand engagement strategy, over time. Make the choice to interact daily with your customers, share the content generated by your customers and be authentic in your responses. These customers will in turn become the most committed brand advocates. Your goal should be to show commitment for your customers, whatever their state of mind.

2. Use customer feedback to your benefit

It is tempting to simply put negative comments aside and treat them as bad “sleeper” messages. However, dissatisfied customers can be seen as excellent sensors to help you improve your product or service offering. Not listening to them would be a huge mistake. Because they take an outside look and because they take time to write to you, their comments can help you correct things that you had not thought of.

Instead of considering these customers as difficult, we invite you to view all these comments as avenues for improvement and to integrate them into your future development processes.

3. Offer compensation

Whether your business is new or already popular and installed, you will have no choice but to offer compensation to an unhappy customer. Offering a refund or gift is a great way to repair and dissatisfy customers over time. These expenses don’t have to be huge: A month of free service or a simple discount can often do the trick.

Offer to contact all of these customers and initiate a direct relationship. Have no preconceptions and tell yourself that each of these interactions is an opportunity to learn more about your customers!

4. Personalize your customer’s experience to the fullest

Nothing is worse than receiving generic communication, whether you are talking to customer service or receiving content, such as a newsletter or email.

81% of consumers say they want brands that better understand their needs, wants and difficulties. And with hundreds of communications received daily, it’s no wonder that customers are looking for more personalized content. Personalizing content will improve the user experience and keep customers from being discredited.

To conclude

You should see customer reviews as one of the greatest sources of trust and recognition. Sometimes they seem unfair or exaggerated … Dissatisfied customers leave a trace which can become detrimental to the development of your brand. It is therefore imperative to systematically manage these dissatisfied people and to seek to transform them into promoters of your brand.