Should You Accept Feedback In Your Business?
This morning I received an email from a contact of mine. It went something along the lines of “Just listened to your new audio. I have some feedback if you are interested.” Oh dear, I thought. That doesn’t sound good. I’m pretty sure that if the feedback was positive, the email would have sounded like another email I got recently – “just listened to the audio. Fab by the way. Can’t wait for parts 2 and 3).” So, I sat there this morning, having a really good think about whether I wanted to hear this feedback or not. You see, asowners we’re taught that any feedback (good or bad) is a good thing. And bad feedback is actually brilliant news because it helps you to improve. But, here’s my take on things. I don’t believe that receiving every bit of feedback is helpful or useful to your business.
The reason I say that is this. I think there are three types of people who give feedback to businesses and that you should generally only be listening to one of them:
Type 1 are people who are genuinely angry and are making a complaint about you or your business. These are the people who you should listen to and go out of your way to sort out. This sort of feedback, while usually not good is definitely worth listening to and doing something about.
Now here are type 2 and 3 which you should be very careful about listening to:
Type 2 are people who want to sell you their own products and services. They will deliberately criticise what you’re doing and tell you that they can do it better for you. Listen to these people at your peril.
And type 3 – well they are just people that like a good moan. Nothing will ever please them and they delight in passing back their negative feedback to make themselves feel better. Of course, they’ll never admit that though!
Why shouldn’t you listen to these people?
Well, for starters if you start releasing things from your business i.e. sending out a newsletter, recording an audio podcast, sending out letters or even just having a website, there will inevitably be people who don’t like what you do.
They won’t like the look of it, think it could have been worded better or believe that it could be done in a different way. No matter how hard you try, it will be impossible to please everyone – all you can do is try your best.
I have one lady who insists on giving me her ‘feedback’ every time I release something new. I think she believes she’s being helpful – and yet, she’ll automatically subscribe to and download everything I do too so I can’t be that bad!
What you have to realise is firstly, you’re being brave enough to put yourself out there and send out newsletters etc. I’m willing to bet that the people who are criticising you haven’t done the same for their business. When they do, by all means pay a bit more attention to what they say, but until then ignore them.
The other thing to remember is this, if you do listen to these people it can very quickly zap your confidence and you begin to question if what you’re doing is right. The best way to avoid this is to ignore people in types two and three and concentrate on doing what you do best: running your business. And that’s way, I won’t be contacting this person who sent me an email this morning asking if I would like feedback – I’m willing to bet that he’s either a type two or a type three person and I don’t need that kind of (un)helpful ‘feedback’ now or ever eating away at the confidence over what we do. Positive comments though are always welcome!