criticismWe’ve all given it at one time or another but when we hear criticism of our own business and especially when it hits close to home, we lose our ability to handle it gracefully.

Comments on social media, editorials in newspapers or magazines, word of mouth – in all of these ways and more we come across mentions of our business that we find difficult to swallow.

Should we respond, especially in kind? Always think of where the critique is coming from. Not all criticism is helpful or even meant in the way it sounds. Sometimes it’s just there to draw attention to the person who is criticizing and is best ignored.

However, when hearing things against your own business that you find you agree with, the best thing to do is take care of the issue as promptly as possible. If you can, speak with the person who has found a problem and apologize, then ask how you can rectify the situation and keep them as a customer. Problems handled in this way can actually lead to more business as customers truly appreciate great customer service. If they know that your business is one that can be relied upon to fix its mistakes, they will tend to tell others about you.

Take a step back, acknowledge that your business may have its problems and work on what can be improved. Paying too much attention to the comments of others can have a detrimental effect on both you and your business. You’re a professional and remembering that will help you to keep your head up and deal with criticism in a mature manner. You have a right to your own opinion, especially when it comes to your business, so keep in mind that the customer may not always be right.

Each person’s perception of your business will be different and the most important person here is you. Do you feel you’re handling your business properly? Could there be some truth in the criticism coming your way? Learn what you can from it, take it with a grain of salt and put it behind you. In the end, it can only help you improve your business.

© Chris Draper, DemGen Inc. 2015