There is no doubt that it’s hard to sit and take negative feedback in any situation, but especially when it comes to a business. However, receiving negative feedback well can help you grow your business in ways you never thought imaginable. Here are some ways to strategically take negative feedback from others in order to improve your business.
Remember It’s Not All Negative
As humans, it’s easy to only remember the negative things that were said, because negative statements tend to be more emotionally impactful. However, this is a mistake. Remember to listen very carefully to the positive feedback you are getting from customers, peers, and mentors as well. If you remember what you are doing well, it will help you take in the negative feedback better and use it to improve. Also, it’s important to remember that the people offering negative feedback are generally trying to help, not to hurt.
Elicit Negative Feedback From Customers
It’s not uncommon for business owners to elicit both negative and positive feedback from customers through a survey, or any other type of data collection tool. The reason for this is because they want to know what customers are really experiencing when they come in contact with their company. As a business leader, it’s easy to think that everything is going smoothly, but it’s hard to really know, unless you talk to the people who your business is impacting—your customers. If you are looking to know what people really think, then gather data that allows open and constructive criticism, even if it’s negative. Remember to be open, rather than defensive, because customers are offering this feedback to help you.
The worst thing you can do after receiving the same negative feedback is to brush it off, and pretend it’s not really happening. This will make your customers and/or staff upset and only exacerbates the problem. Instead, own up to the negative feedback, accept it, and then make the necessary changes that people are demanding. Owing up to the fact that you have a problem shows a lot of strength.
Use Negative Feedback To Change
The main purpose of gathering feedback is to get better. Of course there will be times when you have a nutty and disgruntled customer, and you don’t need to meet their every demand. However, if you are receiving the same type of negative feedback over and over from various customers, or employees, you know something is wrong. Take these suggestions to heart and use them to change the way you are currently operating. The more you can meet the needs of your customers and your employees the more your business will grow. Remember, business really is about customers, so it’s important to listen to what they are saying.
Make Weaknesses Your Strengths
If you can really listen to the feedback you are getting and make changes, you will end up making those weaknesses your strengths. And nothing is more satisfying in business than conquering a problem.