How to deal with ‘detractors’

Detractors are customers who are not very satisfied with your company, service or product. You can measure the number of detractors by conducting a customer satisfaction survey. In this customer satisfaction survey, you then ask your customers the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question. This is the question: ‘To what extent would you recommend company X to friends or family?’ Customers can answer this question on a scale from 0 (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely). Customers who give a 0 – 6 are often negative about your company or product and are also known as detractors.

Every business has to deal with detractors. Detractors create negative word-of-mouth advertising. Besides the fact that satisfied customers are influential, you can actually learn a lot from dissatisfied customers. After all, they show you your company’s bottlenecks. Sometimes unfairly, but sometimes quite rightly, they point out your weaknesses. 

Detractors are much more likely to walk away as customers than promoters (your most satisfied customers who actively recommend you to others). About 50 per cent of your detractors are likely to leave your business within 90 days. Fortunately, there is something you can do about this and it is also very valuable. After all, it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”

But how do you deal with this? Do you choose to ignore detractors or are you willing to engage with them to improve the situation? By approaching detractors and listening to their opinions, you take an important first step. 

After conducting a customer satisfaction survey, you will have a clear list of your respondents. We advise you to start talking to these customers. After all, you now know who they are and they have taken the trouble to indicate what could be improved in your organisation. Thank them for their participation and ask them to elaborate on their feedback. This will allow you to collect even more interesting tips and discuss ‘negative experiences’ with detractors. This gives you the chance to make these detractors happy and turn them into a ‘passive’ or even a ‘promoter’. As a result, you will experience more growth with your business. 

Do you also want to know how satisfied your customers are and what you can do to increase this satisfaction? Then contact AlphaRainbow and start growing tomorrow!

Also want to start with customer satisfaction research? Then click below.


Merel Eijkelkamp

Junior Project Manager