There is no way around it, at some point in running your business you’re going to end up having some type of negative client feedback! This is especially true if you’re offering a service such as branding, website design, copywriting, or any type of service-based business.
Getting feedback from the client is part of the project process, and it’s inevitable that sometimes they’re just not gonna love it. And as much as we don’t wanna let it get to us – sometimes it does because we’re all human!
In this episode I’m gonna give you some tips with dealing with negative client feedback so you can move past it, learn the lesson you need, and keep being awesome at what you do.
Remember people view things differently. It’s not about YOU personally.
One of the really obvious things that we have to remember is that we don’t want to take this feedback personally. It’s not about you, it’s not about who you are as a person, or your abilities or anything like that. We have to learn to separate ourselves from the work that we’re doing.
Sometimes it’s just that people view things differently. We interpret things differently. Maybe what someone was thinking didn’t get conveyed to the person creating it. There’s so many possibilities that could’ve happened to end up in a situation where the client doesn’t like some thing that they’ve received.
It’s more important to figure out where the gap was. Was it a lack of communication? Is it that you guys are speaking two different languages and you need to get on the same page? Do you need to see better examples of what they had in mind?
Take this as an opportunity to go in deeper and find the missing piece.
Let go of the ego and take responsibility where needed.
There can be a situation that pops where you are actually at fault, and it’s time to take responsibility for what happened. This is probably more likely to happen with hiccups or mistakes in the process vs the actual work you’re creating. Instead of getting on the defense if a client isn’t happy, it’s good to take an honest look at the situation and own up to anything that is actually something that you could’ve handled better.
Did you just honestly drop the ball somewhere? Mismanage part of the project? Whatever it is, a client will be so much more receptive to an authentic apology and you working to make things right instead of you defending yourself.
Remove emotion from the situation.
This is a lot easier said than done! I know in the moment when you get that negative feedback you can feel heartbroken, you can be sad, you can be frustrated, or mad or just on the defense big time. It’s so important to really let the emotions run out of the situation. You are never going to make a great decision or respond well when you have heightened emotions in the situation.
Also really pay attention to the emotions that are coming up when this happens. Our thoughts are always with our creating the emotions, it’s not actually what the client is saying to you. So really look at what you’re making the situation mean. Are you making it mean that you’re bad at your job? That you’ve failed? What’s the meaning behind what the clients actually saying that’s making you feel these emotions?
You can then look at those thoughts that are going on in the back end and ask yourself – is this actually a fact? Is this actually true? Most likely it’s not actually true, it’s just our ego flaring up and causing all these racing thoughts that make us feel bad. It’s time to choose thoughts that are going to serve you instead of ones that are going to tear you down.
Avoid reading too much into their emails.
When we receive feedback in writing it can be tricky because we don’t actually know their tone behind their comments. What might seems really harsh and insensitive to us could just be them being direct and to the point. Never assume their message means more than they are saying.
Give yourself time before responding.
Because usually our emotions are highest right when you’re receiving the negative feedback, it’s important to give yourself time before responding to the client. Give yourself time to really digest your emotions, look at the situation outside of being right in the situation, and get to a neutral place before responding. Responding right away could really put us on the defense and we might end up saying things that we will regret later.
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