3 Steps to Overcoming Negative Survey Reviews

Imagine you’ve sent out a survey to your customers, asking general feedback on your business. From your perspective, you feel everything is running smoothly. When you receive your survey’s responses, you're disheartened to see that customers have provided negative feedback. You're now feeling overwhelmed, intimidated, or even hurt. To help ease these frustrations and eliminate the immediate rush to make a quick fix, we've compiled our 3-step list of how to approach negative survey feedback.

Step 1: Analysis

Survey Analysis

Once you've collected all of your survey responses, take time to sort and analyze them to look for potential trends. Are you receiving negative feedback on a specific area of your company that implies difficulties occurred or that there is room for improvement? Utilize this feedback to guide your plan moving forward. Keep in mind that a consumer is 21%1 more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one. This is a relevant number to evaluate, as they took the time to express their concerns, and you might not have been aware of the issue beforehand.

Step 2: Create a Realistic Plan

Survey Plan

Based off the analysis of your survey responses, what are the possible solutions you can implement to improve future feedback? It's important to be realistic when creating these solutions, and only to pivot where you need to. Often times, it isn't feasible or realistic to completely overhaul your entire business operations to appease a few negative survey responses. Rather, consider taking small and steady steps towards improvement. For example, you've received feedback that mentions your business’s processes were too lengthy.

  • What not to do: Immediately promise customers a quicker turnaround time, tell employees to work faster.

  • What to do: Look into ways you can improve internal communication and workflow between departments to limit inefficiencies.

Being realistic will save you time, money, and resources by allowing you to thoroughly think through and test out solutions. Start small with one or two changes, then see if your feedback improves, before jumping to larger, more significant changes.

Step 3: Be Transparent About Improvements

Survey Transparency,

Next, consider how your customers will know that you’re taking steps towards improvement. Communication with your customers is key to humanize your brand. Share with them your downfalls and steps you’re taking towards success to build trust and authenticity. As a business owner or leader, it can be easy to take the “out of sight, out of mind” approach to negative feedback. In other words, only showcasing the highlights to your customers to convince them that you don’t make mistakes. Contrary to this belief, being genuine may even attract new customers to your business. In fact, 86%2 of consumers base their support of brands off the brand’s sense of authenticity. Keep in mind that actions speak louder than words, meaning, many customers will want to see change in order to believe it.

The survey process itself can be overwhelming when completed on your own, let alone reviewing negative feedback and determining next steps to take. Our experts at eAutoFeedback can help. Our staff has over a decade of experience working alongside businesses to help them design surveys and provide feedback type reporting to assist with growth and success. Contact us today to learn more about our state-of-the-art survey systems, customizable platforms, and seamless survey processes.

1 "3. Negative reviews drive away customers", 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Stats and Survey
2 Maryam Mohsin, "10 Branding Statistics You Need to Know in 2021", Oberlo, December 13, 2020

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