Bad reviews good for business

It may go against every instinct but two thirds of bosses say they welcome complaints every bit as much as they look forward to praise, according to Britain’s leading independent online review forum Feefo.

In new research the company reveals that contrary to what people may think bosses don’t always shy away from getting an ear-bashing when people believe their company has got it wrong.

Managing director Andy Mabbutt said they had found that most bosses welcomed negative feedback as much as positive feedback, if not more, as long as it was open, honest and from genuine customers.

“There is a perception that bosses always want to ‘bury the bad news’ and while I am sure it is true in some cases it really is just more of an urban myth among established and reputable firms,” he explained.

“Most bosses value complaints and often look forward to them more than a pat on the back particularly as it helps to head off a major problem before it does untold damage to a business.”

Feefo supplies honest and transparent feedback to hundreds of companies all over the world including The White Company and Thomas Pink. It publishes every comment, good or bad, and ensures only genuine and proven customers are given the opportunity to have their say.

Andy continued: ” The only way a boss can retain a customer who is unhappy is if they know about it and are able to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.Most businesses are realistic enough to realise an operation may not run seamlessly all the time. But they also know that a business is measured as much by how it deals with those problems as it is by the services it provides. The issue for them now is not getting complaints but how to encourage responsible and transparent feedback that is beneficial to both the customer and the business. With the emergence of Twitter and other social media the way we complain has changed and bosses also want feedback to come straight to them rather than having to search it out.”

Tim Curtis, northern Europe managing director for Lands’ End, said Feefo had been able to provide “a measure of customer satisfaction”.

He explained: “Feefo has actually given us actionable insight and there are policy changes we have made as a direct result of the feedback we’ve received. At the end of the day, the customer simply wants to be heard. They don’t want an automated response or a standardised text, they want to be dealt with in a real and human way.”

Feefo has now launched into the travel sector, providing the same open and honest reviews for travel operators and hoteliers.

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