Embracing negativity: How to handle negative feedback

Embracing negativity: How to handle negative feedback

“Your product is terrible!”

Ouch! That was hurtful to hear, especially when it’s accompanied by lots of angry emojis and several mean-spirited comments.

However, I have good news for you! Negative feedback isn’t as bad as it seems.

I’m not saying it’s the best case scenario, but it’s part of the game. When you go public with an idea or a product, chances are you’re going to receive many kinds of responses. So, what happens when, instead of basking in the praise and resting in your laurels, you end up dealing with a bunch of nasty remarks?

You take a breath! No, I’m not kidding, you need to take a deep breath, because you have to make sure that, when you’re answering to a negative review, your emotions aren’t running high. I know it’s not easy. Receiving negative feedback is like taking a punch and there’s always a visceral reaction when you’re reading something like that. Because you invested your time and your energy into transforming your idea into a fully-realized product, hoping that your hard work will be recognized. But instead of a reward, you got your fair share of dissatisfied customers and this rejection can hurt. This is why you need to resist your first impulse to lash back and take the high road instead. Let the backlash unfold and your initial response subside, because this is an opportunity you definitely don’t wanna miss.

Why is she referring to a negative comment as an opportunity you may ask. The reality is that negative feedback is one of the greatest sources of learning and opportunity for development, and shouldn’t be feared. Because, unlike silence, dissatisfaction and disagreement can open a very productive discussion. Most users don’t even take the time to provide you with any type of feedback, so you should be, in fact, thankful for the fact that they actually did. Therefore, never ignore a negative review and don’t gloss over customer frustration. treat it as a conversation instead. Engage with your users and partake in the conversation that they have initiated in order to see where you can potentially improve. View the critique constructively and see if it contains any valuable insights that can potentially improve your business. Listening to your customers can improve your relationships and help you transform customer pain points into areas where you can flourish.

Always keep in mind that there is always room for improvement, so the best thing you can do in a stingy situation like this is translate valid negative feedback into actionable steps! Try to see the situation from their point of view. Consider a time when you, as a consumer, had a bad customer experience. I’m sure you remember the situation well – how it made you feel, both personally and towards the brand. Viewing the matter as a person in need reaching out to you for a solution helps put you in the customer’s shoes and reciprocate. Doing so, can help you nurture your relationships with customers and even mend those that have been damaged.

Of course, it isn’t necessary to get caught up with every single piece of negative feedback you receive. Some people are just going to complain. Boundaries are important, as well as establishing a set of core values that you want your company to stand by, which should somehow be reflected in your communication with customers. But do try to weave the process of handling negative feedback into the fabric of your culture as a business, because every feedback has some type of value. Encourage and embrace the negativity, you can always learn something from it!

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Maria-Eirini Kasviki
Authored by Maria-Eirini Kasviki
Copywriter and distinguished binge-watcher.