Let’s say you’re at the salon and you’ve just had a haircut. You and the stylist discussed expectations ahead of time, however, something got lost in translation and now you're unhappy with the results. Do you speak up and assert your displeasure? Or, do you get upset, pay for the haircut, skip the gratuity, and never return to the salon? Conversely, if you are the stylist, wouldn’t you want a disappointed and frustrated client to feel comfortable approaching you under these circumstances?
Of course, confronting someone about a negative experience doesn't always turn out satisfactorily. In the past, I've spoken with my share of managers and business owners who couldn’t care less about my troubles. These instances involved the “If you don’t like it – you don’t have to come back” approach. Then, there are the 'Deflectors' – those who won't take responsibility and instead, prefer to make their problems – my problems. Typically, however, my concerns are well-appreciated and often times, I am commended for bringing a bad situation to someone's attention. My absolute favorite people are those who are receptive and have a willingness to acknowledge my feelings – both good and bad. Usually, these are the same individuals who are eager to resolve issues, achieve ‘win-win’ satisfaction, and avoid mutual heartbreak. Consequently, I strive to emulate these people and incorporate their practices into my business and personal lives.
Feedback is everything! If you are in a service business, as most of us are, feedback is a valuable component to building and maintaining long-term relationships. Although it may sometimes be unpleasant, listening to a dissatisfied client affords the enviable opportunity to make things right, salvage a relationship – and discover unrecognized flaws that can cause things to slip through the cracks. On the other hand, if a client is discouraged from speaking up: (1) You cannot possibly know that something went wrong and therefore (2) You cannot address and fix a problem – nor take any action to prevent a recurrence.
So, what's your pleasure? I much prefer to engage in dialogue and express what's on my mind. In turn, you can tell me what's on your mind and then together, we can work things out. My ultimate goal is always for all parties involved to reach an acceptable conclusion. Communication and feedback is part of that conclusion. Otherwise, I suppose I can just blog about the scenario and commiserate with 250,000+ of my contemporaries and close, personal friends. That usually makes me feel a whole lot better too!
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