7 Reasons Why It Is Worth to Engage with Dissatisfied Customers

Detractors are people who are dissatisfied with the brand, product, or service of a company. In other words – critics. Detractors are often a “taboo topic” within the company because nobody likes to deal with unhappy and dissatisfied customers. However, we explain here how important it is to deal with exactly this customer group.


“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

– Warren Buffet

1. Never Say Never

A Detractor Can Also Turn into a Promoter

Every detractor is a great opportunity to learn and improve. In addition, detractors usually have very low expectations of companies, which is why there is a great potential to improve their experience with little effort and thus turn detractors into promoters. Sometimes it is even enough to react to their criticism with understanding to make them fans of the company. Often the most loyal customers are former detractors.

2. Get Additional Input

What Exactly Irks Your Customers?

Simply to find out what was the main reason for the bad rating and what the customer is dissatisfied with, one should listen to his critics. In this way, you learn for yourself and the entire team where there is still room for improvement. The customer, on the other hand, feels understood and taken seriously. Often a short call back by the customer service or queries via templates are enough to get the helpful information and thus valuable, additional input.

3. The Root of all Evil

Find the Fly in the Ointment

What may seem like a harmless little thing in the first moment, can also be an indication of deeper lying problems. Closing the feedback loop and responding to detractor feedback allows diving deeper into a topic and possibly discover mistakes that would otherwise have remained hidden for a long time. This may seem difficult, but if these hidden problems can be solved, it is usually possible to make not only one but a whole range of customers more satisfied.

4. Address Small Problems

Avoid the Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back

Only rarely do customers become convinced detractors simply because of one negative experience. They may even speak badly about the company. It is much more probable that various small things pile up like a snowball effect to a huge mountain of problems, which even the best customer recovery program or customer service can’t climb. Therefore, acting quickly prevents something bigger and has a de-escalating effect.

5. That Escalated Quickly

Only 6 Percent Churn per Month Slices the Customer Base in Half in One Year

Detractors stand out in a negative sense with significantly higher churn rates compared to passive and promoters. Much worse: this churn can bring down entire companies. Because even 6 percent of customer churn per month is enough to halve the customer base within a year. This not only hurts but inevitably points the way to bankruptcy.

6. Don’t Pour Your Money Down the Drain

Prevent Churn and Save Money

An old marketing rule says that it costs about 7 times more money to win a new customer than it takes to retain an existing one. That’s a lot, isn’t it? So it is better to turn a detractor into a promoter than to constantly look for new customers, especially since promoters also have a significantly higher average shopping basket. Then the ROI will also be good.

7. Sometimes More Is More

Detractors Are Twice as Likely to Report Their Negative Experiences than Promoters Report Their Good Ones

The faster companies react to negative feedback, the less likely it is that a critic will share his negative experiences with friends and acquaintances. Ideally, they will even report the positive and productive reaction they received to their feedback. If you rely on proper feedback management here and make sure to close the feedback loop, you can not only prevent negative consequences but even use the enormous potential of detractors to turn them into the most loyal customers and thus into true brand ambassadors.

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