Everybody loves a compliment. Whether it’s a positive comment about the outfit you’re wearing, or perhaps some unexpected praise after cooking a meal, we all love to feel that what we do both as individuals and as organisations is recognised.
Criticism, on the other hand, is not so popular. Criticism is seen as intrinsically negative – the sort of thing which is not always offered in good humour and can often be taken as an insult. When it comes to your business, it’s easy to take even the well-deserved, constructive criticism as an insult as your business is incredibly personal to you. It’s likely that you spend a lot of time and money ensuring that mistakes don’t happen – so when they do, it’s an understandable blow to your confidence.
However anger is possibly the worst response to criticism from customers – even if you feel or know that it is not justified. That’s because far from being a negative thing, less than positive feedback is actually good for your business and healthy for your bank balance. It identifies issues and things you could be doing better which may not have thought of yourself. What this means is you can fix these issues, and make more money as a result by offering a more desirable, competitive product to your customers in line with their needs. Without feedback, you’d have no idea what they wanted – or the targeted things which you could be doing which could encourage them to spend more money with you over a competitor.
How can negative feedback offer greater clarity when it comes to business growth?
When you’re running a business, by default you are incredibly close to it – too close, some might say. So whilst you feel you know your business inside out and have a good understanding of what it is your target market expect and require, it can sometimes blind you to any improvements you could be making. With greater clarity comes increased profit as you listen and act on what customers say they want. That’s why feedback, both positive and negative, can be so useful.
What about general gripes and moans due to unforeseen circumstances?
Sure, mistakes can be made and these are part and parcel of running any business. These can’t be helped and whilst you can learn and grow from them by putting preventative steps in place, they’re also a great opportunity to apologise to the client in question and make it up to them, making them less likely to criticise you further and more likely to give you another chance.
What’s the best way to obtain customer feedback?
Undoubtedly we are all moving away from traditional methods of feedback and moving more towards quick and easy online Feedback Systems which make leaving feedback simple. What you want is for customers to feel they can give feedback without any hassle – especially as we are increasingly time-poor nowadays. An online Feedback System such as ours enables customers to quickly leave minimal details along with a simple star rating, giving them the option to elaborate if they wish. No lengthy requests for comment, complicated registration processes or confusing double-negative questions.
What about when people post negative feedback online?
The internet is a public space and often it’s there for everyone to see. Whilst it is not possible to stop anyone posting what they want on the internet – there’s no need to panic as this can actually be a wonderful opportunity for you to smooth things over and respond quickly and professionally to the feedback in question. With our feedback system there is a full internet monitoring service ensuring that any feedback left outside of our platform, whether it’s positive or negative is monitored 24/7 and the company is immediately notified allowing the business to deal with it promptly.
By encouraging customers to leave feedback on our platform you can often avoid this negative feedback going public online as our system intercepts the negative feedback giving the business an opportunity to resolve it before the client feels the need to go online and publish it for all to see.
If you’d like to learn more about online Feedback Systems, please take a look at our online feedback information page.
Details about the author:
Michael Goldman is Managing Director of Invest in Digital LTD, a full service Digital Marketing Agency based in Manchester.
3 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3EB
Tel: 0161 706 0004