The online world is real too and it’s not always friendly. Online review sites can be helpful references but are often used as an avenue for people to criticise and critique, anonymously and without recourse. Once published online comments are usually permanent and can be shared so it’s important to respond and do so appropriately.
I help clients monitor and respond to social media and online reviews and it ain’t always pretty, let alone fair. Standard rules of engagement for any customer feedback apply – consider it, evaluate it, then choose to adopt, refute or ignore it. The only wrong choice is to rage about it.
Nobody gets five star feedback all the time so don’t put yourself out there if you can only handle a fairytale ending. Even harsh criticism can help you grow or give you a laugh. Here are five ways to cop it sweet:
#1. Remember that creativity invites criticism
It’s important to realise that criticism is just one view in the big picture. Aristotle said “If you want to avoid criticism; say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” No thanks.
#2. Not all criticism is bad
Don’t dismiss all criticism outright, look for the constructive element to improve on. Most people are motivated to take the time to rate you for a reason.
#3. Don’t give away your power
People are entitled to their own opinions and can say whatever they want, however unenlightened. You decide whether to listen. If it won’t benefit you, don’t sweat it.
#4. Take a stand for kindness
Don’t tolerate outright meanness, to you, staff, friends or family. Trust your gut to know the difference between a critic and a hater. Block. Unsubscribe. Delete. Refund. Goodbye.
#5. Find the humour in it
Laugh it off and thank them anyway for the input. There’s always much better perspective from the high road!