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How to Handle Negative Feedback

May 2, 2017


The Importance of Feedback

The relationship you create with both existing and potential customers is of paramount importance because, as we all know, customers are the lifeblood of a business.  Gathering feedback on people’s experience with your Sales and Aftersales Departments is invaluable for strengthening customer relationships.

Seeking and acting on feedback from your customers helps your dealership improve its business processes.  Employees, just like customers, need to feel valued. Positive feedback energises employees and helps them to feel more involved with their workplace. It reinforces what they’re doing well, motivating them to consistently provide an excellent service.

But what about negative feedback?

Let’s be honest, it can be hard to hear.  It can even cause the recipient to act in a defensive or worse aggressive, manner. However actively listening to negative feedback is crucial. It means you have a unique opportunity to improve your dealership’s performance.

Recognise that constructive criticism allows you to identify and eliminate any issues preventing future sales.  Ensure the future success of your dealership by taking negative feedback seriously.


What’s The Best Way to Handle Negative Feedback?


  1. Make It Easy

First and foremost, customers want to be heard so make it easy for them to give feedback and do it fast! Be proactive in looking for feedback. Call your customers or make it simple for them to leave feedback online.


  1. Take Time To Listen

Resist the urge to cut them short and take time to listen to their grievance.  Try not to make excuses and offer a sincere apology. Assure them that you will make changes so the issue doesn’t happen again.


  1. Win Them Back

View the situation like a traffic light system; the customer’s feelings may be at the Orange level but by letting them express their grievance fully they should come back down to Green. Be dismissive of their issue and you’ll soon have a Red customer on your hands i.e. someone who probably won’t stay a customer for much longer!


  1. Take Action

You must then act on your promise to the customer. Question the issues raised in the feedback – what does it tell you about the business? What changes are needed in order for it not to happen again? Once you’ve figured out how to fix the problem make sure that all staff members are informed of any necessary changes.


  1. Follow Up

Get back to your customer to explain to them the measures that were taken in order to prevent the issue from happening again. This is a proactive next step, viewed very favourably by customers. It can make the difference between losing and keeping an annoyed customer. It may even get you some valued referrals.


View feedback positively and it can give you the information you need to improve your service offering. Contact Touchbase today on 045 409285 for more information on how we can help you with customer surveys and feedback.