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32016126_SThey say everyone’s a critic and the adage applies to business especially. The truth is that both positive and negative customer feedback can be critical to growth. No one likes to hear complaints, but it can be a valuable learning tool. Here’s how to take the bad with the good, while keeping your cool:

1. Dig deeper. It’s easy for consumers to blow off steam and unfairly direct it at your business and its social media sites. Sometimes it’s just a fluke. Sometimes it’s deserved. Try to look past the tone of the comment and instead get to the core. It’s worth investigating to see if there is some truth to the remark.

2. Identify what you can learn from negative customer feedback. If there is in fact a problem, don’t ignore it. Do what you can to resolve the situation and prevent it from happening in the future.

3. Keep it above board. It can be tempting to respond to a surly remark online with an equally as unpleasant tone. However, this is not the time or the place. Above all, you should consider keeping your tone professional and polite.

4. Think before you post. When someone gets nasty and unloads on your page, your best bet may be to kill them with kindness. Current and future customers will see how you diffused the situation and take note.  Another approach is to let your fans go to bat for you. Sometimes a happy customer can be your biggest champion.

5. Take your time. Many a business owner has wished they had waited before firing off an angry response to a complaint. Give yourself some time to collect yourself and regain some objectivity.

If you’ve dealt with criticism before in your professional life, how did you handle the situation? Share your tips on our Facebook page!