Dealing with feedback


Dealing with feedback

11 May, 2021

A slap in the face can hurt but is the best way to fight back to punch the provider in return?

When many of us seek feedback what we hope for is the positive. Of course that isn’t always the case but he way we deal with feedback makes the difference between winning and losing.

I fought the law

A consumer of a professional service decided that the service they had received wasn’t what they expected. It being 2020, the consumer decided to do what many of us do and left a scathing review on a well known review platform.

The company involved was consciously signed up to the review site. Therefore one would assume they had done so to welcome feedback. 

The consumer’s comments clearly struck a nerve and the provider sued them for libel claiming the review had had a negative impact in their business. 

The coverage of the case doesn’t go into detail save that it does little to shake off that negative image. 

Has it come to this?

How did it come to this?

Let’s look at what had happened.

  1. The consumer wasn’t happy with the service they had received. 
  2. They left a review based on this experience. 
  3. The review had an impact on the provider's business.

The last part of this sequence is important. Feedback does have an impact on your business. Whether that impact is good or bad, better or worse is not out of your control. Much of the good is in your hands but depends on how you react to the feedback. 

Being bothered

Let’s take another example and see how things could have turned out differently. 

I recently used an online grocery retailer for the first time. When the delivery arrived the box was heavy. It had torn in the corners and the contents were damaged. My initial gut feeling wasn’t great.

I contacted the company and wasn’t expecting the most positive response. Yet when I did (via their online chat) I was met with a very receptive attitude, a can do outlook and - very importantly - important questions to help feedback information that might help.

Win:win - I came away happy not just with this transaction but willing to try them again; they had gathered some insight from a customer about how they could improve their service.

The company is called Bother. I’m happy to name them because their approach to feedback made a refreshing change.

Taking control

In both cases feedback affected a business.

One of those businesses took the opportunity to make changes for the better.

You too can be part of your own positive growth by adopting an open and engaging approach to feedback, however bad the message might seem at first.

So here are my tips for how to reach feedback karma:

  1. Accept feedback however bad it is. The customer may not be right but it pays to check all views.
  2. Be curious not dismissive. Ask questions about the feedback to give you more detail to act on.
  3. Demonstrate what you have done with the feedback you receive and why you have done that. You don’t need to cover every detail but it shows you have been listening.

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