Monday, February 1, 2016

5 Small Business Mantras for Dealing With Negative Feedback

So you got your first one-star review, or a last-minute cancellation, or a furious message in your support inbox. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and repeat these affirmations:

1. “I will not take criticism personally.”

Don’t give into a dark spiral of self-reproach—or righteous anger. Your upset customer is almost certainly not considering the thinking, feeling person behind the business they’re roasting. Stay calm and objective.

2. “I will not let complaints pile up.”

With social customer support on the rise, customers are beginning to expect almost  instantaneous responses to their complaints. Don’t become paralyzed by panic or embarrassment. Follow up with unhappy patrons as swiftly as possible. (Or better yet, consider delegating this task to a more objective employee.)

3. “I will respond with politeness and a sincere offer to help.”

Fighting fire with fire is tempting. Instead, swallow that pride, and make a genuine offer to fix the issue at hand—you’ll be surprised how quickly even the sourest of customers come around.

4. “Bad reviews are not the end of the world.”

Your customers are savvy: they can spot a wacky, unreasonable review just as well as you can. They also know that a few grouchy reviews can’t eclipse plenty of glowing ones. Have faith in your business’s performance and reputation!

5. “I will remain open to change.”

Cultivate that thick skin, but pay attention to recurring themes in your customers’ complaints. Keep an ear open for ways you could improve your customer experience.

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