The phrase “the first cut is the deepest” is never more relevant than when you’re talking about negative business reviews. While you try your best to prevent them, they’re inevitable.
When you make a mistake, you can’t go back and unmake it. But you can take every measure to correct the mistake and take steps not to do it again.
When you get a negative business review, you can take it in stride and come out better for it. Here are five ways to do it.
1. Find the Problem
As they always say, the first step to solving a problem is to find out what it is. And so begins the most difficult task a business owner will be faced with- confronting the source of a displeased customer. First, contact them directly and ask them to give you feedback about their experience.
Fight the urge to defend and deflect, and truly listen to what they are saying.
To make this process easier, you should also implementcustomer dissatisfaction (DSAT) analysis software. This way, you can catch trends as they’re happening, so they don’t have to come to a head this way in the future.
2. Apologize and Offer To Make Amends
In any case, an apology will work in your favor. You will have shown that you care. You also have the potential to repair the relationship and get a client back.
However, if the customer only wants to be angry and punitive after you’ve done this, the best thing is to disengage. Mishaps will reflect the most upon your company.
3. Use This as a Learning Moment
Our greatest learning experiences can only come from our biggest failures. Finding out what doesn’t work is a large step toward finding out what does.
Let’s say you launched a new iteration of a product. The customers had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to it, and demanded to have the old one back.
This time can be more than just an error. The lesson to be learned in this is not to make changes suddenly and without consulting customers. This thought process transforms the experience from a setback into one of growth.
4. Refrain From Beating Yourself Up
When you beat yourself up, you learn nothing. You also miss out on crucial information that can help you discover and fix a problem. Take this moment to empathize with yourself, which is vastly different from making excuses.
Maybe you were overworked and so you missed an important email. Upon this realization, it becomes clear that you need a few extra hands or to invest in scheduling software.
If you refused to give yourself any kind of defense, you would never have come to this important conclusion, which will turn into a solution if action is then taken.
5. Work Towards Improvement in the Future
Any time you wallow in a mistake you’ve made, you’re only setting yourself up to make more, because your head isn’t in the game. It’s time to get into the mindset of future-oriented thinking.
To do this, replace past-worded thoughts with future-worded ones. Here’s what we mean. Instead of “I got two customers’ orders mixed up, that was so stupid!” reword your internal dialogue to something like this- “I’m going to double-check each order to make sure I get them all right.”
The first thought will demoralize you. The second one will incentivize you to improve.
Dust Yourself Off
There are two ways it could be this time next year. On the one hand, you’re still in the same situation with the same worries. On the other hand, this event could be a distant memory. If you follow these steps, the latter is a guarantee.