For anyone in the service industry (fun fact, that’s all of you!), how we handle reviews is a key component to how successful we will be. This topic can be dug into much deeper, I’m just going to touch the surface on how we view our approach at the EBD.
Here are 4 general ways I have seen people react to their reviews:
Apathetic/Disinterested – That doesn’t bother me. Shrug it off, it doesn’t matter.
Anger – They said what about me, I’m gonna break their face
Depression – I’m doomed, I’m a failure and I will never be good enough. I should quit.
Entrepreneurial – That’s interesting, wonder if there is more to it. Is this something we need to improve or change. I’m gonna reach out and see if they can help me understand this better.
At the EBD, we strive to create an atmosphere where we take a breath before responding to criticism. Our staff takes reviews/comments pretty seriously, because they work hard to put out the products at the volume we do. I would take a staff who cares, 100% of the time, rather than a apathetic staff.
It’s hard to not get angry when criticism is delivered in a rude manner. Super hard. Of course this happens routinely. We deal with people. People have bad days. Some people are just plain rude… We KNOW this is going to happen. It’s part of the business. None-the-less, I never want good criticism to get lost due to a poor delivery.
Tears happen in the restaurant world. WHEN you care about what you do, the people you work with, and the guests you’re helping, you get emotionally attached. Depression is talked about more in our society now than ever before. A natural place to go when someone gives us criticism is to curl up, hide and get sad. Instead of settling into a depressed state, we need to take the words and put them into a positive light. That starts with leadership.
At the EBD, I read through all of our reviews. We have a 100% response rate on google and TripAdvisor. That is how important this is. It’s not always fun reading through the reviews. Sometimes it downright stinks. But, if I come at criticism from an entrepreneurial standpoint, we’re going to grow. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, we don’t know how to respond because some reviews are pretty off-the-wall. If that is the decision we come to after researching what happened, then we move on. BUT, initially, we’re going to read it one, twice, sometimes 10 times to see if there is something we can pull out of it to better our business.
Don’t run from the criticism, embrace it and let it help you grow.
Bill Gates said,” Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Learn from them!