Everyone knows that negative things in life—like banks failing, losing a key client, or having a computer glitch are bad. In business, these negatives can crush your profits and put you out of business.
Things don’t always have to be “bad” though. It’s easier to get people hyped up with negativity than with positivity. That’s why people pay more attention to negative news stories than they do to positive ones!
Check out these six ways to turn some negatives into positives in your business!
Express your gratitude
When a customer has a complaint, it’s easy to focus on the negative. Oftentimes, we become defensive. Our reaction can be something like, “Who do they think they are? Who do they think we are?!” We may even go so far as to fire off a snarky response in an attempt to defend ourselves, regardless of whether or not it’s appropriate. But instead of getting tangled up in the negative, there is a way to turn it into a positive experience: express your gratitude.
There are multiple ways to show your gratitude when your customers have complaints. First, take the time and effort to thank them for their purchase. Thank them for their continued business. Thank them for reaching out and giving you the opportunity to make things right (or better). This shows your customers that you really appreciate them—especially if you manage to do it in a genuine way that doesn’t sound hollow and patronizing.
Expressing gratitude also helps you feel better about your day-to-day life in general. It allows you to accept negative feedback without being defensive. It removes the negative connotations that often come from negative feedback (such as “this is going to be bad”). Expressing gratitude also allows you to differentiate between bad feedback and constructive criticism—the former being something you should avoid at all costs, while the latter could help improve your business. Also, being grateful to your customers can be a way to connect with them.
Acknowledge complaints and own them (if you’re at fault)
Owning up to your mistakes is hard—really hard. It’s difficult for anyone who isn’t a natural at it, and even then, it can be impossible to do when you’re under pressure or when the stakes are high. No one sets out to make a mistake, but they happen all the time (even to those who are trying their best). That’s why it’s important to accept that mistakes will come with the territory and be prepared for them.
If you’re in business, you need to recognize that mistakes will be made and that they will often be negative. If you’re not prepared for them, you could lose money, upset customers, and damage future sales potential. When something goes wrong, you have two choices: ignore it or own up to it. The first option might seem easier at first—after all, what’s the big deal if you forget to send out an email newsletter? The truth is that those little slip-ups can build up into bigger problems later on. And if you don’t take responsibility for what went wrong, even if no one notices at first glance, soon people will begin to doubt your honesty and integrity.
Answer questions and offer advice
If a customer has a complaint, no matter how minor it may seem, respond in the right way by listening to their concerns and suggesting solutions. This will show the customer that they are being heard and that you are willing to resolve their issue quickly.
If someone is having problems with one of your products or service, do not blame them for the situation. Instead, ask what you can do to fix the problem. If the customer feels like you are blaming them for the issue, they may never purchase anything from your business again! It is important to treat your customers as individuals and take an interest in how they feel about your business and products.
In stressful situations, remember that it’s OK if a customer has had a bad experience. The important thing is how you handle the situation from there on out. When you’re able to turn a negative comment into a positive experience for both parties involved, it will be much easier for you to make improvements for future customers.
Being honest is one of the most important skills you can have as a business owner. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day struggles of running a business, but it’s important to remember how important honesty is in your business. Honesty is a part of your reputation, and it’s something that will follow you wherever you go.
Honesty builds trust, which is essential in any relationship. If someone trusts you, they’ll be more likely to do business with you again and refer their friends and family members to your company as well.
On the other hand, if someone doesn’t trust you, then they won’t be comfortable doing business with you. They may even go as far as giving negative reviews about your company online or trying to sabotage your reputation by making false accusations against you.
It’s not just about maintaining a positive reputation for yourself—it’s also about growing your business in the future by finding new customers and clients looking for businesses like yours.
Monitor your online reputation
Your online reputation is a major factor in how people perceive you and your business. If you don’t monitor what people say about you, you could miss out on valuable opportunities.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to monitor your reputational metrics. You can use tools like Google Alerts to get alerts when your name or business is mentioned online. You can also use social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite to see what people are saying about you on Facebook and Twitter.
If you find negative comments or feedback, don’t ignore them—address them directly instead. If a customer has had a bad experience with your business, apologize and explain how you will fix the problem going forward. If someone criticizes your business, respond with an explanation of why you do things a certain way or how you’ve improved since the negative review was posted.
Build a better business with us
No matter what kind of business or service you provide, there are bound to be unhappy customers. Even the best businesses, such as Apple and Amazon, sometimes have dissatisfied customers. This is completely normal, but some companies manage to turn these complaints into opportunities for positive change. If you have any comments or questions, let us know in the comment section below or contact us for more information!