4 Ways To See What Your Customers Hate About Your Company

What do your customers hate? The sooner you learn why they're so riled up, the sooner you can placate them—and improve your future processes.
What do your customers hate? The sooner you learn why they’re so riled up, the sooner you can placate them—and improve your future processes.

What do your customers hate? The sooner you learn why they’re so riled up, the sooner you can placate them — and improve your future processes.

Sure, it’s a lot more fun to receive kudos from customers in various forms. A five-star Google review. A handwritten letter thanking your team. An unexpected shout-out on social media.

But if you’re only focused on happy buyers, you’re missing opportunities to get better. Though it’s great to collect and showcase all those high-fives, you can’t dismiss the grumbles.

Unsatisfied consumers typically didn’t start that way. They became impatient, frustrated, or downright angry because of some touchpoint with your brand. So how do you ferret out all those underlying causes of friction in the customer journey? Incorporate these four strategies into your internal evaluation workflows.

1. Drill down into your DSAT scores.

You probably collect CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores. What do you do when dissatisfied customers hate something and rate you with “1” and “2” answers? As digital software provider MaestroQA explains, customer dissatisfaction (DSAT) findings can be goldmines.

But just like all goldmines, you have to be willing to dig for valuable nuggets.

For instance, try putting your incoming DSATs into problem buckets, such as “support problem” or “product problem.” After sorting the DSATs, you can begin to look deeper into the root causes of the problems by asking “Why?” several times.

Let’s say your product arrived broken, which led to a poor DSAT score. Why did it happen? Maybe your packing procedures weren’t followed because new workers didn’t get proper training. Perhaps your coaching team is prioritizing other areas.

Knowing the “Why?” behind your DSATs enables you to chip away at the things annoying patrons. By fixing glaring issues and eliminating things your customers hate, you should see a change in your DSAT to CSAT ratios.

2. Conduct social listening.

Social media has turned into a real-time outlet for raves…and rants.

A recent study of consumers shows about half have vented on social media about a bad brand experience. When they do, you want to get on it pronto. It can take more than 10 good reviews to push down one negative. Therefore, the sooner you find out what’s annoying customers, the sooner you can do something about it.

Here’s the hard part. Your team can’t be everywhere at once.

Even if you have a thriving marketing department, your people will need help keeping track of “word on the street.” That’s where social listening software can be a huge help.

Many social media listening software programs will integrate into other marketing systems you’re already using. You’ll pre-program these digital tools with keywords so they can scan a variety of social sites against those keywords. When certain words and phrases are used, the software flags the event and automatically alerts you. Compiling the data will help you get a clearer understanding of customer sentiment, which can inform your next steps.

3. Go “old-school” and pick up the telephone.

Sometimes, being a little old-fashioned about customer service in a modern world isn’t a bad thing.

Instead of merely emailing, texting, or DMing unhappy shoppers, you could take time to call them. Of course, this drains your ability to do other things. It can also be tough to listen to someone bad-mouth your “baby.” However, taking the one-on-one approach can illuminate exactly what’s bugging buyers.

This isn’t a technique that you’ll want to do for everyday problems, of course. It’s best suited for ones that pop up at once.

For example, let’s say you keep losing customers and they just won’t tell you why. No matter how many CSAT surveys you send out, you don’t get any real answers. In this situation, making phone calls or setting up Zoom meetings makes sense.

Don’t look at these events as sales calls, though. Instead, see them as a chance for you to get the insider information you’re missing.

Write down a series of questions and ask them of each customer who’s willing to talk with you. It may be helpful to have your conversations recorded and transcribed so you can focus on empathy, not note-taking. What you discover could be a key toward stopping the leaks in your customer experience.

4. Revisit your customer journey maps.

The customer journey is the path that prospects take on their way to becoming shoppers. There are dozens of possible journeys for each brand because every target user purchases differently. Nevertheless, it’s worth dusting off your customer journeys to see whether they’re happening as expected.

Take the buying experience. Your customer journey maps may outline the ideal framework you want buyers to go through. But are they?

An investigation into your company’s processes may uncover some snags. Maybe your checkout is fraught with stumbling blocks. eCommerce company Shopify lists complex checkout systems as one of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment. (And, accordingly, displeased consumers.) Reducing the number of required fields or showing shipping and handling costs up front could reduce snags that customers hate.

You may want to take the role of “secret shopper” and walk through your finished customer journeys. You’ll get a first-hand taste of what consumers go through — and you’ll probably have some serious “Aha!” moments along the way. Use them to create more airtight journeys that allow you to present a consistent brand face at all touchpoints.

Happy customers are a boon to your corporate ego. Yet unhappy ones can help you improve your company’s current and future performance. Now get out there and start loving those haters.

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