To embrace the failures customers take issue with, Seth offers some handy tips for taking the rap and embracing criticism (‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ added)…

  • [DON’T] If you defend yourself to the customer, quickly explaining precisely why the policy is the way it is, why the product is the way it is, you are pushing the criticizer away because you’re telling them they’re wrong about their opinion. And they might indeed be wrong, but it’s certainly not going to encourage more feedback.
  • [DO] If your front line people restate the criticism in their own words and are grateful to the customer for sharing it, everyone will benefit. You can always choose to ignore the input later.
  • [DO] If there’s no way for your staff to easily send the criticism up the hierarchy, it dies before it reaches someone who can do something about it.
  • [DO] If senior people follow up with the customer with specific acknowledgment and thanks, you multiply the benefits.