No one likes to get negative feedback or criticism, more so when it comes from your trusted client. Of course, we want our clients to be satisfied with our services, to be happy, to be thrilled, and to remain as our clients, right? Whenever you experience negative feedback, you run the risk of losing a customer. So how do you manage it? How do you turn what might be a disastrous experience into one that might actually be positive?
1. Acknowledge their Negative Feedback
It’s important to hear the client out and to listen to or receive their feedback with an open mind. If you begin to feel defensive, which is a natural emotion in this situation, then it’s helpful to set that defensiveness aside and try to remain calm and clear. Needless to say, your client always needs you to listen carefully and hear what they’re actually really saying, and to acknowledge their feedback. It doesn’t matter if they’re wrong. Just thank them for the feedback given.
2. Ask for Clarification
You can transition from acknowledging the client and their feedback into a potential opportunity by asking for clarification. When you ask more questions, the easier it is for you to pinpoint how you can improve and move forward. Look for answers to questions like these:
* What exactly are they concerned about?
* What is the key complaint or issue?
* Why are they reacting this way?
* What can you do to move forward?
3. Is the Feedback True?
There are many reasons why you might receive negative feedback. Perhaps, a client may not have given you the information you need. There could have been a miscommunication, and it goes without saying that we all do make mistakes sometimes. When you look at the feedback with honesty, the situation helps you stay clear-headed and you will begin to take responsibility.
Apologizing is often difficult for people. It may feel like you’re saying that you were wrong or that you made a mistake, even when you didn’t. Apologizing doesn’t have to mean saying that you were wrong. For example, you don’t have to say, “I’m sorry for my mistake.” Instead, you can say, “I’m sorry that we had a miscommunication.” It’s important to respond with kindness, professionalism, and understanding.
5. Learn and Grow
Learn from mistakes – yours and others. In the event that the negative feedback actually stemmed from miscommunication, then make use of that experience to change how you work with clients. If it’s a mistake that you made, create systems so that it doesn’t happen again. And if the client made the mistake, well… be forgiving. It happens.
Negative feedback happens in any business. There will be challenges and obstacles along the way. How you handle the feedback will help determine how well you enjoy your business and the customers that you attract and keep.