Is the fear of criticism blocking your creativity? The nature of the internet means that comments about your business can be published instantly to thousands of people around the world.
Unfortunately for handmade businesses, negative comments pose a considerable reputational risk. While channels such as Facebook allow you to brush criticism under the carpet (not advised, angry customers will usually respond), reviews on sites such as Trip Advisor and Google can blemish your name on a longer-term basis.
While your customers will always have scope to poorly portray your business online, there are some simple ways to monitor and respond to criticism in a proactive and timely manner.
1. Respond To Criticism
Take the time to address negative reviews by responding sincerely. Apologise, explain, offer to address the issues and prompt the customer to contact you directly on a dedicated email address.
This gives the impression that you’re going above and beyond to help the customer, yet the correspondence remains private. If necessary, set up a ‘Let Us Help’ or ‘Customer Experience’ email for dealing with any customer complaints.
2. Track Criticism
There are some comprehensive tools available which help you monitor online mentions. Such as:
- Tweetdeck is a good way to monitor keywords associated with your business, staff, suppliers or location. By setting up dedicated streams, it’s a free and easy way to flag up social references and anything which could harm/help your brand. However, it will only monitor Twitter.
- Sprout Social is ideal for monitoring social mentions across Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and while they charge, it is only a small monthly fee.
- Google Alerts allows you to monitor any new coverage of your brand. While it won’t be comprehensive enough to pick up every review and mention, it’s a free way to receive company coverage via email.
That is the most basic things to do to protect your business from criticism.
Check this video by Marie Forleo to learn how to keep fear of criticism from crushing you:
So what about you? Is you business well-protected from criticisms? What is the best way to protect your reputation?
Let us know in the comment box below.