Ahhh! They hate me.

Feeling bad today? Well, you are not the only one. Last week, I had a conversation with one of my clients who recently started asking his customers for feedback. It turns out they hate him (at least one person anyway) and I mean really hate him! In fact, after they told him off, they went on social media and ranted for paragraphs. “Ahhh! They hate me.” I’m sorry was all he could say and then he gave me a call.

Has this ever happened to you? What starts with good intention (asking for some feedback to improve your business) becomes a situation that causes you to consider quitting your job, closing your business and moving to another city. The pain is real and to be honest this situation will probably occur again especially once you open yourself up to feedback on a regular basis. You are exposing yourself to the truth or a version of it according to (________).

The truth is, you may discover you or your business is not exactly what you hoped, your business may not be delivering on the promises made to your customers, you might need to make some big changes. This can be gut wrenching to hear and you will be tempted to reject what they are saying. Is it fair to assume you will probably feel angry and defensive? Here is what I told my client, take a few minutes or maybe a few days and recall that you are hearing just one perspective on your business. Look at the other feedback you have received. You may also hear that you have absolutely exceeded someone’s expectations. You may discover your company’s biggest fan and learn how you can make them even happier. The good and bad almost always come together.

Here it is… the tough feedback can make you better if you try to look for truth in the barrage. There is some solace when you remember that you are not universally hated. When you are in this tough place of introspection lean on the council and comfort of friends, colleagues, and fans who can help you see the bigger picture. Their feedback may be what you really needed to hear all along.

Don’t ever quit but you should probably start to understand your company from the perspective of your customers. Is your vision actually being realized? You customers will let you know.