Thank you letters for customer feedback are very important. It’s not your customer’s job to give you feedback after each time you’ve completed a job or even just interacted with your company. They set out to have you complete a project and hopefully receive the intended value. So, when a customer does give you feedback, it’s a very kind gesture.

Whether that feedback is positive or negative, it was likely written with the intention of improving other customer experiences down the road. No matter what, feedback is valuable and can provide important insights for you to consider as you adapt your marketing strategy. Additionally writing thank you letters for customer feedback is critical to business growth.

1 – Take time to carefully review feedback before responding

The worst thing you can do is immediately write a thank you letter after receiving customer feedback. For positive feedback, this may result in a letter that’s overzealous. For negative feedback, this could cause you to be thoughtless and unprofessional.

In essence, take some time to read and re-read the feedback, and consider letting others review it as well. After you’ve reached a calm and collected state, you can start drafting a response. You’ll want to remain warm and grateful, yet professional, when responding to positive feedback. Also, you should never take that opportunity to ask them for anything more.

Negative feedback from customers can be far more difficult to know how to respond. Remember that fighting fire with fire will only make matters worse. Attempting to view things from their perspective, allows you can remain empathetic.

2 – Thank them twice

Another important thing to consider when writing thank you letters for customer feedback is to thank them twice. It’s always good to start out the letter by thanking the customer for choosing you and offering feedback. This shows, right away, that you appreciated the time / effort they took to write a review. No matter if the feedback was positive or negative, it still deserves acknowledgment.

In addition, you should also close the letter with a second thank you. This is especially important if the feedback is negative. You might have used the body of the email to express concern over the feedback, give explanations, or discuss ways you may improve in the future. To sum it all up, you’re grateful that the customer let you know about a negative experience so you could come to these conclusions.

3 – Let them know you’ve read their feedback

It’s reassuring for customers to know that you’ve taken time to read their feedback and actually analyze it before writing your thank you letter. For positive feedback, this usually means extending how happy you are that they had such a great experience. You can outline what teams were involved in that process. Also, how you’re always working building stronger customer interactions.

For negative feedback, you may want to try to explain what may have gone wrong. Hopefully, that negative experience was an exception, and you can explain the circumstances that caused it to occur. If it has been a recurring complaint, you can be honest and admit that. However, be sure to share with them plans being discussed / implemented to prevent those them from happening again.

4 – Apologize if you need to

Specifically for negative feedback, it’s important to apologize regardless of whether you believe their feedback to be accurate. Even if you think their anger or frustrations are misplaced, remind yourself that they’re probably pretty frustrated and disappointed. Especially since they took the time to write feedback.

So, make sure you say sorry and mean it — or at least pretend to. If you can, promise them that your team will work hard to ensure that that incident will never happen again. If something went terribly wrong, you may consider offering an incentive in return. That should only be reserved for extreme circumstances as you don’t want your company to be taken advantage of.

5 – Show empathy

It can be both frustrating and fruitless for a customer if a company responds to their honest feedback with a list of defensive explanations. Make sure to take time at the beginning of the letter to share that you see what they’re saying and understand how it must have made them feel.

This is key for both positive and negative feedback. Simply put, customers want to feel heard. They want to know that their feedback is actually going to be used to improve the customer experience. So, show them that it’s meaningful to you by responding with empathy and care.

6 – Be responsive

If you want to improve the impact of your thank you letter, then it needs to be delivered in a timely manner. When customers leave a negative review, respond to them immediately to learn more about their experience with your company. This shows that you’re closely monitoring feedback and are invested in customer needs.

One thing to keep in mind is that the timing of your response may depend on the type of communication you’re working with. For example, Twitter users expect a response from a company within one hour. In comparison, Facebook users typically expect a response within six hours.

7 – No need to sell more

Customer reviews aren’t typically the best time to approach your customers with a sales pitch. When a customer leaves a negative review, the last thing they’re thinking of is investing more money in another job / service from you. Even if the review is positive, reaching out with another sales offer can make your thank you letter appear as a means to another sale.

While it may be tempting to up-sell, this sales tactic is typically ineffective when thanking customers for reviews. Instead, focus on actually reading the customer’s review and appreciate the value that their insight provides. Just because you aren’t booking another job doesn’t mean you aren’t the first one they will think about when their next project rolls around. Writing your thank you letters can have a much longer lasting impact than any well crafted sales pitch.