Dealing with negative feedback

It can be easy to get defensive when we receive feedback, particularly when we feel it is not justified or we totally disagree with it. What we need to ask is what led to this customer’s perception. This sometimes involves asking questions in a tactful way. The key thing is to show some empathy with the customer’s point of view. Even if we disagree, something must have triggered their perception. So listen to what your guest is saying, and aim to turn a negative into a positive. The least you can do is apologise (even if you’re just apologising that they feel that way) and demonstrate what changes you’ve made if appropriate.

Whatever the feedback you receive, listen and learn from it. Keep your objectivity and don’t take things personally. Use the feedback to identify your strengths, so you can capitalise on these. And make sure you share these with your team. Then use the less positive feedback to identify root causes and what changes are needed, and remember to involve your team in the process.

So next time someone wants to give some feedback, look forward to it. It’s the businesses that embrace feedback that will succeed.