The today article is written by Julia, a WordPress expert and blogger. I’m so glad she is my guest because I follow her blog and Twitter from more than one years.
You put your heart and soul into your business. You come up with product ideas. You physically make the products yourself. You lovingly package them and send them on their merry way. It almost feels like you’re sending off a little piece of yourself.
Then one day, someone gives you negative feedback. And it freaking hurts. How can that person not appreciate your hard work and talent? Let’s turn that negative feedback into something positive.
Don’t take it personally
When your business is you, it seems impossible to not take it personally. But the person leaving feedback isn’t trying to personally insult or attack you. Most of the time it has nothing to do with you. It’s about them. Take a deep breath and shake it off.
If you can’t shake the negative feedback blues, call a friend and have a good rant. Write a fake reply to the customer saying all the things you wish you could say (just don’t hit send!). Do whatever you need to do to get all the bad feelings out so that you’re not defensive when you talk to the customer.
Turn that frown upside down
When someone takes the time to leave negative feedback, it means they are actively engaged with and emotionally invested in your business. As crazy as it sounds, that’s actually a good thing.
A passionate, emotionally invested customer is better than one who doesn’t care enough to leave feedback at all. Why? They share the same characteristics with people who become repeat customers and cheerleaders for your business.
By turning their negative experience into a positive one, you’ll get a fiercely loyal customer for life.
Follow these steps to turn that frown upside down.
- Thank the customer for their feedback. Instead of thinking of them as a complaining idiot, thank them for their feedback. They’re giving you a chance to resolve the issue, improve your business, and gain a loyal repeat customer.
- Empathize with the customer.Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if the anniversary gift you bought arrived too late, or if something arrived damaged, or wasn’t what you were expecting? Think back to the last time you had a bad customer experience and how frustrating it was.
- Offer a solution even if it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault the customer didn’t read the description, the delivery was delayed, or there was a glitch on Etsy. But the bottom line is, they ordered something from you and are unhappy with the transaction. It’s up to you to rectify that. Offer an immediate solution to the customer. You can deal with postal claims and Etsy issues behind the scenes.
- Own it and hone it. Use the negative feedback to hone your business into a lean, mean, customer-pleasing machine. Chances are if one customer had a problem, others did too. They just didn’t care enough to tell you. Take new product photos, rewrite product descriptions, improve your packaging. Do whatever you need to do to prevent the same thing happening again.
Do you have any tips for turning negative feedback into something positive? Share them in the comments below.
Julia Sydnor is the geeky gal behind Pixel Frau. She teaches Etsy sellers how to make kick-ass websites with WordPress. Want to craft a website for your creative business? Head on over to Pixel Frau to get started.
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