Turning detractors into promoters: Best tips

Turning detractors into promoters: Best tips Learn to identify and engage with detractors effectively using NPS, CSAT, and CES surveys. Turn feedback into growth opportunities.

Turning detractors into promoters: Best tips Learn to identify and engage with detractors effectively using NPS, CSAT, and CES surveys. Turn feedback into growth opportunities.

Customer Satisfaction

Maria Correa

Apr 10, 2024

We have said it before but it will never be enough. Customer feedback is the pillar of every product or service, it is the basis to start and to continue growing. Definitely, without feedback, you can not grow.

One of the most accurate and fastest tools to collect this feedback is surveys, whether NPS, CSAT, or CES. All of them collected the opinions of your users of something specific and at the right time.

Whatever type of survey you choose, there is a term called detractors or NPS detractors—those customers who are unhappy with your product or service. This is important because the detractors are often the loudest customers you have and they usually go to your competitors.

While CSAT and CES have different objectives than identifying detractors, they can still provide valuable warning signals. A customer who gives low CSAT and CES scores is likely to become a detractor.

Who is a detractor?

A detractor is anyone who expresses negative feelings, dissatisfaction, or criticism towards your product, service, or brand. They might actively dissuade others with their negative opinions.

To identify an NPS detractor you need to launch an NPS survey. Detractors are the persons who give you a score between 0-6 in the survey. If you want to understand more about NPS you can read our blog about NPS survey.

It’s important to understand that detractors’ feedback, while critical, is a valuable resource for pinpointing areas of improvement.

Detractors profile and characteristics:

Detractors are dissatisfied customers who may have negative feelings about your product or service. They are unlikely to recommend you, that’s why we help you to recognize them with this profile and characteristics.

Contribution: They might simply show or share their unhappiness or lack of interest in your product with others.

Impact: They are less likely to make purchases or may even actively discourage others. This impact directly to your churn rate, retention, and sales.

Attributes: Detractors have a negative perception of your product or service.

Loyalty: Detractors are not loyal customers. They are at risk of leaving the cart, canceling the subscription, writing a bad review, spread dissatisfaction with others.

Behavior: They may express their discontent openly.

Rating: In NPS, CES or CSAT, the detractor's rate is between 0 to 6.

Engagement level: Low engagement.

The opportunity in the challenge

First of all, don't focus too much on your score. Understanding the feedback and the detractor situation,  it may be beneficial to investigate their case and find a solution.

Listen to them, and acknowledge the problem. When a detractor’s issue is resolved effectively, their journey to becoming a promoter can transform them into one of your most credible advocates.

If this is the case, explain why that could happen and how you are taking action on the situation. When you have made customers feel part of the process improve their experience. Also, you can make them feel that they are being listened to.

From detractors to promoters

Remember, the goal isn’t just to change minds; it’s to change experiences. And in doing so, you can transform detractors into your most powerful advocates, propelling your brand to new heights.

1. Identify early and engage genuinely: Utilize NPS, CSAT, and CES scores to identify detractors. Engage with them directly to understand their concerns, adopting a genuine, problem-solving approach.

2. Embrace the feedback: View detractor feedback as a chance to improve. This mindset shift is crucial for fostering an environment where feedback leads to actionable insights.

3. Implement the LATTE Method: Starbucks' famed approach—Listen, Acknowledge, Take action, Thank, Explain—provides a structured framework for addressing concerns empathetically and effectively.

4. Follow Up: Resolution isn’t the final step. Following up to ensure the detractor feels heard and valued can cement a positive perception of your brand.

Benefits to identify detractors on time

Recognizing detractors involves more than monitoring NPS scores. It's about understanding the underlying causes of their dissatisfaction, which may vary from expectations, poor customer service, or perceived lack of value. Here are some of the benefits of identifying detractors on time:

  • Increase retention

  • Reduce churn

  • Improve customer satisfaction

  • Increase engagement

  • Make data-driven decisions

  • improve brand awareness

Best practices for long-term success

Continuous engagement: Regularly check in with your customers to measure satisfaction and collect feedback before it escalates to public criticism.

Transparent communication: Be open about what you’re doing to address feedback and how you’re implementing changes based on customer feedback.

Empower your team: Ensure that all team members understand the value of detractors’ feedback and are equipped to respond fast and effectively.

Measure and adjust: Use detractor feedback as a metric for continuous improvement. Adjust your strategies based on what’s working and what’s not.


Turning detractors into promoters is an achievable goal with the right strategy, mindset, and commitment to continuous improvement. By understanding and addressing the concerns of your detractors, you can transform them into sources of positive influence, brand loyalty, and advocacy.

Grow based on customer feedback is a testament to its dedication to customer satisfaction and service excellence. Embrace every piece of feedback as a stepping stone towards creating a more engaging, responsive, and customer-centric business.

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