There is always that one guy that has to complain about something, and in general, most people despise them. However, when it comes to businesses and brands, it is not the right move to despise or dislike the complainers. Instead of calling them Karen, you should probably find a way to turn them around and have them become an advocate for your business, right?
You’re probably like, “Sure, that sounds amazing, but that’s impossible, right?” Well, not quite. Sure it is not an easy task to turn a complainer into someone that will praise your brand, but it is actually achievable. We know this because many have done it, and because we care about you, we’re going to show you how you can do it, too. Let’s dive right in.
Why Would You Want To Do It?
Many would argue that all press is good press and that it is essential that you have some critics in your surroundings. While it is true that an occasional critic might keep you on your toes and help you grow, an online critic or a complainer will rarely offer constructive criticism and will most likely do more harm than good. So, we feel like it’s safe to say that this is a very strong reason as to why you should convert them, so to speak.
Why Do You Need A Brand Advocate And What Is That Exactly?
To put it simply, a brand advocate would be a customer or a client that speaks highly of your business and spread awareness of your brand. Basically, someone that will help uplift you to another level. Seeing how word to mouth advertising is one of the best forms of advertising any brand could want, brand advocates are always a welcome addition.
Now, many people make the mistake of having celebrities or people of influence as their brand advocates and ambassadors, but that’s not always very successful. Your customers are intelligent, and they know that you’ve paid someone to speak well of you and your brand. On the other hand, if a regular person who was badmouthing you since recently starts suddenly speaking highly of you – people might actually want to listen. So, we feel like it’s safe to say you need a brand advocate for more than one reason.
But, enough foreplay, let’s tackle the question at hand – how to turn a complainer into a brand advocate?
Actually Listen To The Complaint
Naturally, the easiest thing to do would be to shun all the complaints you’ve found on PissedConsumer.com and never think about them again, but that won’t achieve anything. Just because you don’t read or acknowledge them doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Also, it doesn’t mean that the complaints will stop coming your way.
So, instead of ignoring the problem, how about you try and solve it?
The first thing you should do is actually listen to the complaint and try and understand where the complainer is coming from. Try and understand what made the complainer angry. If it’s something insignificant or minor, sure, move on and don’t worry about it; however, if the complaint is actually viable and you can do something about it – try and do it.
There is no better way to turn a disgruntled customer around than by listening to them and making them feel like you’ll do all that’s in your power to fix the issue. An apology can go a long way, but an effort to actually make the change will go a lot further.
Ask The Complainer How Would They Like To Be Compensated For The Inconvenience
If you’ve established that the problem is real and that the complainer had all the right to write the negative comment or a review, extend a helping hand and ask them how would they like to be compensated for the inconvenience.
Sometimes, all they want is to be listened to, but sometimes, they would like an apology, a refund, or a promise that the problem is going to get fixed. Don’t just jump the gun and offer them a refund or store credit. That could be interpreted as hush money or a lousy way to get out of the problem, so it’s always better to ask first.
Sure, what they want could be unreasonable, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
Fix The Problem They’ve Complained About
Now that you’ve acknowledged their complaint and promised to make up for it – actually do it. Don’t just make false promises because those will come back to bite you. If you’ve said that you’re going to make an effort, you simply have to do it.
Let’s say, for instance, you’re running an online business that sells various products and that the customer has complained about the deliverymen being rude or unprofessional – what should you do?
Well, if it’s an isolated incident, you could apologize, offer store credit or a gift card or do something along those lines, provided that you’ve inquired about it, as we’ve suggested. However, if this is something many people have complained about, you’ll just have to change your delivery service. The same thing applies to any other problem. Slow customer service? Get a chatbot. Unresponsive website? Make a better one. We could go on and on, but you get the point.
Ask For Advice
This is arguably the best trick you can pull off. Many business owners react to negative comments and complaints simply by saying they’re sorry and that they’ll work on it. However, what almost none of them do is ask the complainer for help or simply a piece of advice.
If they’re complaining about a problem, ask them for advice on how to deal with the problem. This will make the complainer feel like they’re appreciated, acknowledged and respected, which is more than enough for them to turn the page around and tell everyone just how incredibly awesome your brand is.
There you have it. As you can see, a lot of it depends on how you handle the situation. If you handle it gracefully and responsibly, chances are, you’ll have yourself a brand advocate for life. Hopefully, you’ve found this advice helpful and will soon turn all the complainers into brand advocates.