It's fair to say that most individuals do not like receiving criticism, nor do they really know how to respond to it. Small- and medium-sized business owners are no exception. For entrepreneurs, who pour their time, money and soul into their companies, hearing scathing words said about their SMBs can be a particularly hurtful experience. Unfortunately for them, with the increasing prevalence of online review websites like Yelp, they are even more susceptible to a barrage. To handle negative feedback posted on the Internet in a diplomatic manner, business owners have to prepare themselves and learn a few key tactics.
Even though a less-than favorable review can sometimes make entrepreneurs feel as if they have to defend their businesses to the death. According to Firmology, SMBs should shy away from going on the immediate defense. Instead, they should take a deep breath and actually try to understand where a displeased customer is coming from. If SMBs go with their knee-jerk reaction, responding to users in a snarky fashion, other consumers are going to take notice and may be less likely to do business with their company. Business owners should show their willingness to cooperate with customers, carefully listening to comments and opinions.
Yahoo! Business Advisor recommends that SMB owners do not take every piece of criticism personally. They should adopt a more positive view of receiving complaints and consider it to be an opportunity to refine their operations. Obviously, no company is flawless, no matter how much dedication an entrepreneur shows. Bearing this in mind, SMBs should use negative feedback as a way to have an honest perspective of their organizations, asking follow-up questions to find the root of the issue. By identifying the main causes for complaints, a business owner can then address these issues, fixing them so that their SMBs will be better off in the future.
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