“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates.
This is true. Your unhappy customers are disinclined to pull punches. They will tell you exactly what went wrong. They will tell you want they don’t like about your product, and they will often make suggestions on how it could be better. And, listening to them can win them over. Happy or neutral customers won’t usually give you feedback. In this social media driven environment, your unhappy customers can easily discourage your neutral customers from buying your products. Turning the unhappy ones around by listening to them can’t undo all of the damage, but over time it will get better.
After all, look at what happened to The Home Depot under Bob Nardelli. Lots and lots of unhappy customers and employees. Finally, someone listened. Nardelli was out, Frank Blake was brought in, and the culture is changing for the better. People have been talking about the change in the store management, and their shoppers are returning. It takes time, but they are getting there. The Home Depot learned from their unhappy customers, they listened, and they acted on it.