Everyone loves positive feedback. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing back from a client and getting a downpour of compliments and thank you’s. It’s a confidence booster for sure, and can also be helpful in boosting your marketing. However, positive feedback is not the only form of helpful feedback. In fact, sometimes too much of it or not enough balance can be detrimental to the growth of your business. Believe it or not, it can also be detrimental to your marketing as well. Negative feedback, as painful as it can be, is actually a very valuable asset to your business and personal growth. But what makes it so necessary, and how are you supposed to use it to your advantage?
Simply put, criticism makes you stronger. We all know this. But how do you go about applying this criticism in a tangible way? Firstly, try to contextualize it. Is this customer complaining about things just for the sake of complaining about things or do they genuinely want to present you with criticism to help you grow? You can often tell this by the comment itself – the wording, the phrasing, how accurately or in depth they describe things. This will tell you how much of this criticism to take to heart. Secondly, try to make sense of what the customer is saying. If that means making a list of the different complaints and then boiling them down to the core issue, then that should be your process. For example, if a customer says, “This service was great but took way too long,” then try to boil it down to what could have caused that. Maybe it is a lack of employees, a lack of communication between employees, not enough delegation, etc. Meditate on what specifically caused that customer’s complaint on your end and then go from there.
Weirdly enough, negative feedback can sometimes be good for your marketing as well. Every business owner loves to see a string of five star reviews right on the front of their website. Some business owners love it so much that they will fabricate fake or over exaggerated reviews to boost themselves. This might work on occasion; but as each generation becomes more and more internet savvy, it seems that this practice becomes less and less useful. An endless array of glowing reviews simply doesn’t look realistic to most customers anymore. Instead of cherry picking the reviews that you want your customers to see, why not practice full transparency by setting your review page to autofill with all the reviews that you receive? This doesn’t mean that you can’t remove certain reviews that are purely mean spirited or written by bots for the sake of trolling. It just gives your customers the guarantee that you are a business that is genuinely attentive to the needs and desires of each of them. A business that is constantly growing and improving is much more desirable than a business that feigns perfection. Give your customers your trust and they will be more willing to give it back to you.
Negative feedback can feel like a really detrimental thing to your business. It can even feel like a sign of failure on a bad day. But nothing is a true disadvantage if you know how to turn it around into something that can help you. Negative feedback may feel like a useless thing, but it can actually be the key to future success if you use it wisely.