How Customer Complaints Can Benefit Your Marketing Strategy

Nevertheless, it is often through the greatest challenges and the most painful moments that we experience the most growth, including in business. Customer complaints and negative reviews can hurt, but they can also inspire you to make meaningful change and innovation.

When you’re expanding a company’s marketing platform or revising an existing campaign, customer complaints may well be your greatest asset. You just need to know how to use them to your advantage.

Learn from customer complaints

most common customer complaints are often related to a product or service, the customer service a customer received, or the way a product or service was represented. However, regardless of the type of complaint, you can always learn something about your customers and your organization from these reviews.

It’s crucial to review all the feedback you’ve received and see if there are any trends. Once you have this information, determine if you or your organization can do anything about these complaints.

Marketers can always leverage it to support improvements in both business processes and marketing campaigns in general. For example, problems with a product can lead to efforts to create better products, while problems with customer service can lead to better training for your organization’s representatives. These efforts can then be promoted in marketing materials.

This, in turn, allows marketing teams to cultivate a more responsive and service-oriented brand. You can work for make your business more customer-focused and improve your overall brand reputation. For example, negative reviews may even be featured on the company’s website or social media pages, along with detailed descriptions of how the company responded to and resolved the issue. This can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Because customers appreciate companies that listen to them and care enough to make quick and substantial changes to better serve them.

Improved market targeting

One of the most daunting challenges marketers can face is understanding exactly who their customers are, what they expect, and what they want. Customer complaints can be invaluable in this process.

A common customer complaint is that a product, service or company has been misrepresented in marketing materials or product descriptions. Often, this perceived “misrepresentation” is not a misrepresentation at all. Rather, it is the failure of the marketing strategy to reach the appropriate audience. Understanding your audience is the first and most important step in successful content marketing. If you don’t know who you’re trying to talk to, you won’t be able to send the right message and your efforts are unlikely to have the impact you seek.

For example, older consumers are likely to have a very different idea than younger audiences of what a product presented as a “user-friendly” digital mobile device will look like. Teenagers and young adults are digital natives. Having reached adulthood in the wake of the digital revolution, they tend to be more comfortable and adept at using advanced technologies than consumers of their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

Thus, older consumers may perceive that a highly sophisticated technology promoted as “user-friendly” has been misrepresented when, in fact, the promotion was simply targeting the wrong market demographic. But if you know what different groups think of the same product, you can use that information to guide and improve your marketing efforts so they appeal to each audience.

Use complaints to direct, not dictate, your marketing

Another key benefit of customer complaints is that they can make you a smarter salesperson. The voice of the customer should always be heard and respected, but that does not mean that customers are always right.

As a marketer, it’s important to retain your power and expertise, even in the face of customer complaints. Use the information you learn to direct, but not dictate, your strategies. If you allow your customers to dictate your marketing plans without considering everyone, you will never create a cohesive and effective strategy.

Instead of automatically jumping to every issue a customer might raise, use these critical comments to help hone your professional expertise. Over time, you will learn which complaints are legitimate and useful for your purposes and which are not. Complaints can be the foundation through which you more accurately design a results-driven marketing strategy – one based on deliberation and data, rather than amorphous hunch or instinct.

The take-out sale

Customer complaints can be one of your most valuable tools for innovation and improvement. Negative reviews and criticisms can be leveraged to better meet customer expectations and, in doing so, cultivate a brand of responsiveness and service. Additionally, negative comments can help you better understand and relate to your target audience. It can even help you hone your expertise in determining which marketing strategies are best for your business and your customers.

William L. Hart