A large part of having a business is dealing with upset clients, vendors and complete strangers. While most owners understand the importance of professional, effective responses, many have a difficult time leaving hurt feelings at the storefront. It’s time for them to learn:
Consumer complaints are not personal attacks.
John Q. Public is notorious for being blunt and LOUD. With the social media factor, it’s a dangerous world for the imperfect business. Use a puppy in your marketing campaigns, and PETA will be there to comment on the “probable mistreatment” of Fido. Dare to use all the colors of the rainbow on your signage, and your sexuality may be assumed or mocked.
No matter how careful Betty’s Donut Shoppe is, you can be sure that someone on Twitter, Facebook or beyond thinks she sells the devil’s bread. It’s at times like these
a good amount of entrepreneurs will reevaluate their personal decisions. (Does Betty need to start attending Wednesday mass too?) The simple answer is “No”.
Regardless of one’s financial, emotional and physical support of the company, the business is not the owner, and the owner is not the business. Though it often feels as if the business is an extension of the person or vice versa, it’s essential that owners stop accepting public criticism of their company as personal attacks. Each and every complaint should be handled according to policy and then filed away – not taken home. By taking these comments personally and overreacting, an owner or manager can cause more damage. When a person person feels as if they are being singled out and attacked, it can be easy to lash out at the individual with the complaint. Events like this can ruin relationships and reputations. In business, R&R is EVERYTHING.
So don’t risk it. As much as you love your lemonade stand, don’t take it to heart when someone thinks your product is too sour. Whether the criticism is to your face, via comment card or for all to see online, respond appropriately and leave it at that. This isn’t high school – this is the real world. No one is trying to sabotage your date to prom, I promise. Keep your head up and move forward.
- Amy @ Kapeesh
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