We all like to receive praise and be told we’re doing a great job. But what about when somebody tells you you’re not doing such a great job?

Do you ignore it and hope not to hear from them again?

Do you go and make yourself a coffee and pray for the email to delete itself?

Or do you consider it a great opportunity to see where things aren’t going so great in your business (that you may not even have realised), and do something about it?

If you’ve done wrong by a customer, intentionally or not, the important thing isn’t usually the wrong-doing, it’s how you go about fixing the problem. Sometimes what you’ve done “wrong” isn’t actually a mistake, it’s just that the customer may not like it to be done that particular way. For example, if you’ve printed reports back-to-back when the client prefers single-sided.

If you actively show the customer that you’ve rectified the problem and taken steps for it not to happen again, that customer may not only stay with your business, but will be a passionate campaigner of yours because they can see that you’re trustworthy and committed to them as a customer.

Consider if the problem is a procedural problem across the business than needs to be addressed through your entire business. For example, if clients are constantly waiting to hear the progress on their job and you’re getting complaints for the long waiting times. You could consider putting a system in place where you contact the client upon receipt of the job instructions and let them know when the work is scheduled for – clients don’t generally mind if they have to wait for the work to be done, as long as they’re informed of the progress.

Or is it something specific for a client like above with the printing of reports – standard business procedure is duplex printing, but this client prefers single-sided. You need to ensure you’ve got a system in place so that this information is captured, and all staff in the business know what is required. Do you have a procedure document for each client? Do you have a “job finalisation” checklist where any special instructions can be recorded?

So don’t be afraid of negative feedback or complaints. Handle them in a positive way and allow them to create an opportunity for your customer service to shine!