How to Utilize Negative Feedback to Improve Your Offering
Receiving negative feedback can feel discouraging regardless of the field, and this is especially the case in the business world.
Because there is a constant drive to compete against other businesses by offering the best products, deals, or other commodities, nearly every company aims to be the best. However, in that pursuit to be the best, negative feedback will play a factor, and only the businesses that utilize that feedback best will rise to the top.
Proper utilization of user feedback is often not as straightforward as it may seem, as there are many factors that one must consider, and understanding the intricacies of these factors is often what separates the best businesses from the rest.
The Intricacies of Negative Feedback
When it comes to negative feedback, three major areas require assessment before doing anything further—the origin of the feedback, the feedback itself, and the type of response the feedback warrants.
Who or What Is the Source of the Feedback
Because it is impossible to please everyone, knowing the source of the negative feedback is one of the best ways to determine how much consideration it should receive. Getting feedback on a coding project from someone who has a background in programming is much more valuable than getting feedback from someone who has a basic understanding of programming.
This is not to say that the latter feedback is worthless, but if a company receives lots of negative feedback, it’s typically best to address the feedback from the most reputable sources. There is simply not enough time to get to every bit of feedback, so focusing on the most trustworthy sources makes the most sense for efficiency and quality.
What Is the Feedback Saying About the Offering/Product
After identifying the feedback that deserves the most attention, the next step is breaking down what the feedback is saying and how it applies to the product/service it is critiquing.
There is no way to use the feedback to make improvements without first understanding the thesis of the feedback. And understanding what the feedback is saying is only half the battle. No good business will agree with every piece of feedback it receives, even if the feedback comes from a highly credible source.
The best businesses bend, but they don’t break. They will listen to feedback if it’s logical and they agree with it, but they won’t listen to the feedback they do not agree with, even if that feedback is valid in certain respects.
The businesses that try to adhere to every bit of feedback and cater to everyone generally have many good offerings, but nothing unique separates them from their competition. And with how volatile the business world is, being unique is one of the only ways to hold a customer or client’s attention long enough to sell them a product or service.
Sweeping Changes or Incremental Changes?
Finally, choosing the most appropriate type of change is the most challenging part of the whole equation.
There are pros and cons to both major overhauls and more gradual ones, and the pros can outweigh the cons by a large degree, but this heavily depends on the circumstances. Making massive changes to a product set in stone might not prove feasible for a product already set in stone.
In some cases, it may simply be better to develop a different product entirely rather than trying to alter the product to such a large degree. However, this largely depends on the nature of the feedback that led to the changes in the first place.
No business will succeed by taking feedback and scrambling to implement it as quickly as possible. So, the most pivotal part of this whole process is taking the feedback and working towards the appropriate changes in the best way possible.
Find the Right Balance
When it’s all said and done, utilizing negative feedback to improve offerings is a process that involves much trial and error. Above all else, do not wholly jeopardize the end goal of an offering for the sake of negative feedback. Instead, know when to make accommodations and when not to.