Business Blog

Lessons From Negative Customer Feedback


There’s nothing better than hearing from customers who love your product, right? Whether you’re in manufacturing or retail, I think you’ll agree that the happy customers who put down good money for your product or service are the people who validate your company’s existence.


Then there are the unhappy customers, the complainers who are angry and not afraid to let you know it. What, you don’t get any calls like that? And all of your Facebook fans are 100% happy all of the time? Good for you! You can stop reading now. For the rest of us, however, it’s worth stepping back and asking what we can do to head off negative customer feedback before it happens.


“The best business lessons are born from criticism, not pats on the back.”

How true! It was written by Jay Baer in a blog post at copyblogger.com. Baer is the author of Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers.


He goes on to explain the power of using content marketing to address customer complaints. What’s content marketing, besides a business buzzword? It depends on who you ask, but the folks at the Content Marketing Institute (who knew there was such a thing?) define it like this:


“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”


That content could take many forms. Some outdoor industry examples:

  • A video that explains the advantages of your tree stand over the competition’s
  • Social media posts that explain new or unique features of hunting footwear
  • Guest blogger reviews on your web site that convince customers why your duck call will help them shoot more greenheads this fall
  • A webinar that helps bowhunters pick the right type of arrow


The possibilities are endless, but you get the idea. It’s about educating your customers and, hopefully, the people you want to turn into your customers.


There’s a whole industry built around helping businesses improve through content marketing, and if you haven’t given it much thought, it’s time to start. The main point in Baer’s blog post is that you can and should use content marketing to address negative customer feedback. Maybe if you address the problem in this way, you can proactively connect with customers, head off future complaints and eliminate time- and money-sucking issues such as product returns and refunds. There may not be such a thing as 100% happy customers, 100% of the time, but a


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