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HomeMarketingDetractors: An Unexpected Customer Experience Opportunity

Detractors: An Unexpected Customer Experience Opportunity

Every business tries to collect and analyze their Net Promoter Score (NPS). This tells you the average ratio of your brand champions to detractors. It helps you to understand just how well your brand is doing with respect to your audience, and even predict mass churn.


However, if you’re just focusing on getting a positive score here, you’re not making enough use of your NPS survey. While that is definitely what the NPS score is supposed to help you measure, it can also provide you with an opportunity to improve the scores and transform your CX.


While the brand promoters are those you ought to be grateful for, the real opportunity is the detractors.


That’s right - the people who dislike your brand, are unsatisfied with your product, and are (possibly) going about saying negative things about your brand online are the unexpected (and pivotal) opportunity for you!


In fact, these are the people you need to focus your efforts on. Still, wondering how detractors make all the difference?


Here are the top reasons to engage your detractors:


  1. Understand Your CX Gaps

As a business, it is your aim to deliver the very best experiences to all your customers. But realistically, this isn’t always the case. In fact, customer experience gaps are far too common - and the best people to alert you to these would be your detractors.

Listen to them, and you might realize that things that might’ve otherwise seemed minor or brushed under the carpet could help you enhance the CX you provide, thereby improving the engagement for new customers while also increasing retention rates.


  1. The Little Problems

Listening to the complaints you are getting might make you realize that the problem that needs solving probably has an easy fix.

Moreover, since detractors are often the people with the least expectations from your brand, they are usually the easiest to appease. So if you notice that a lot of the frustration being voiced is perhaps because of a small gitch or an incorrect screen popping up - directly reach out to customers and try solving the issue in their favor.

Little things can make a big difference.

It might’ve not been a big problem, but it can often cause a lot of frustration for the user. So being considerate and thoughtful might actually win over customers that were upset earlier.


  1. A Stitch in Time

Sometimes concerns that you haven’t taken note of can spiral out of control. That issue that you’ve been attributing to a common user-error might actually be a glitch in your software.

It’s only when you spend the time and effort to genuinely listen to complaints that you can identify such small problems before they snowball into something bigger.

So if you don’t already have a team dedicated solely to decoding the open-ended feedback that customers give, it’s time you set it up.


  1. Listen to their Concerns

Who doesn’t like being listened to? Customers love knowing that their feedback is valued, and the best way for you to show this is by acting on it.

So when you identify key feedback, take action.

Having a closed-loop feedback system will make it easier for you to track tickets, keep an eye on the complaints, while monitoring and improving experiences consistently.

Your close-loop system can involve anything from replying to customers leaving behind a negative review, voicing apologies for the bad experience they had to actively correcting software glitches and providing a token of your apologies.

Your biggest advantage here is that detractors don’t have much faith in you, so even the smallest gestures can leave a big impact.


  1. One Bad Review

Rome was not built in a day, but it burned in one.

It’s the same with any brand. You might spend years cultivating an untarnished reputation, but just a few terrible reviews can destroy it all.


So approach detractors before they have a chance to vent about a negative experience. The best way to do this is by ensuring feedback options at every stage. This allows you to get a granular understanding of customer experiences at key touchpoints of their journey.

Moreover, it enables people to tell you just how they feel.


Most detractors won’t tell you what went wrong - but they might vent on third party websites. However, if you make it easy for them to approach you (and of course, take action), you might be able to prevent them going to review sites completely. Instead, they might click on the chat option that’s there on your website - and that in itself could save you a lot of trouble.

After all, it takes 20 positive reviews to make up for just one negative review. So every bad review that you can prevent, is that much pre-emptive damage control.


  1. Save More Money

If your aim is to keep your company at the same level that it is at, you need to acquire one new customer for every detractor you lose.

On the other hand, if your aim is to grow, you need to acquire more customers.

Detractors are an incredible opportunity to retain the customers you have. What’s more is, with the right analytics and feedback, they are telling you exactly what you need to do to retain them!

So if you’re still considering focusing primarily on new customer acquisition, then maybe you need to re-think. While it’s always important to gain new customers, don’t miss out on the opportunity you already have.


  1. The Most Loyal Promoters

Your brand detractors are giving you an opportunity to improve. They are telling you something is wrong, and you need to fix it.

Sometimes, this is all it takes to change their perception of you. Show them you hear them, that you are willing to work on their feedback, or that you would like to resolve their problems for them - and then see the difference in their attitude.

Detractors can become the most loyal brand ambassadors, because they will have come from a place of dissatisfaction to seeing the impact of your customer experience team.


On average, it costs a brand 5 times more to get new customers than to retain existing ones. In fact, studies have shown that just increasing retention rates by 5% can increase profit margins anywhere between 25% to 90%!


So when the stakes are so high, it makes sense to go the extra mile and appease existing customers. These are the people that have already bought from your brand - they know your product. Showing them that they matter and that you will do what it takes to retain them might be the push they need to change from being detractors or passives to becoming vocal brand advocates.


The most successful businesses in the world recognize this. They ensure that their customer experience not just hits the mark, but goes above and beyond; and that’s exactly what you need to do.




Michael Hussey
Michael Hussey
Michael Hussey is a digital marketer and blogger. He writes about motivation, education, and personal development, mostly about career help. He hopes to make a good difference in the lives of people by sharing society related relevant stories and blogs also by his personal journey.
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