At some point during your business career, we all receive feedback about our products. Some of it positive and some of it negative. And while negative feedback doesn’t have the ability to cause us to close shop. It often encourages in some of us an unwillingness to listen and act on those criticisms.
So, if you have recently received less than stellar feedback about your products, here’s what you can do.
Decide to keep an open mind, learn, grow and address the situation head-on.
De-personalize the feedback
I am not asking you to assume positive intent. That is something folks say when the intent is meant to be negative.
Feedback is the road to growth but always consider the source.
Is there a need for improvement? Respond with openness and a willingness to examine all angles of the comment. (Defense is the first act of war, avoid it at all cost.) Consider saying something like:
“I appreciate your feedback and I want to do whatever I can to make the best product possible.” Thanks for sharing that.
Or “I had another customer point that out and I will definitely move back into test kitchen mode.” Thanks for letting me know.
Operate from an attitude of gratitude. This shows growth and is the mature thing to say and do.
Avoid Fighting the Facts
If the bottom of the cookies is too brown (burnt) then, they’re burnt. Make it right with the customer.
When faced with a negative situation about your food product, we tend to argue with the reality of the situation. We even go so far as to create our own story about the circumstances.
“I know she left that cake in the car while she went to the mall. I’m not giving her a refund.”
“She’s got four kids and there’s no doubt one of them did a nose dive on that box of cookies.”
Both scenarios might be true. And contrary to what we might believe, arguing with the facts of the situation is a complete waste of time, resources, and energy.
After all, it’s our reality that causes us stress. The fact is we may never really know what happened. Get to a place where you can resolve the customers’ concern. Resolve it to the best of your ability and commit to creating a return/in-the-event-of Policy.
Stand in your truth. Focus on yourself. What I mean is don’t jump off the edge, get upset with the customer or the kitchen helper. Remember, there are only three truths: your truth, the customers’ truth, and reality’s truth. And since we are not in the forest to hear the tree fall, go with your truth.
You can only focus on your actions, assumptions, choices, etc. and resist the need to point out the role the customer played in this poor outcome. You know what this means, be the bigger and better person.
Focus on positive results
Do you want to be right or happy? During a television interview with Goldie Hawn’s, she said her dad once asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She replied, ” Happy!”
When you decide that you are right and someone else is wrong, you immediately become a righteous… fill in the blank. Seeking out only that feedback that continues to prove you are right, blocks all insight. You avoid information that can help you produce a better product.
Focus on learning a lesson
You received a complaint about your product.
There is something to be learned from this most dismal engagement and experience. I know that’s not what you want to hear but humor me.
When you are seeking what can be learned from the negative experience, you are on your way to building an amazing business. Can you learn to accept negative feedback as helpful, not hurtful? Can you adjust your physical and emotional reaction accordingly? (Fix your face?) If so, you can rest assured that amazing things are in store for your business.