Thursday, July 28, 2011

Treat Every Criticism Like Gold

Not knowing why someone doesn't like you doesn't make you better.
Most customers don't tell you why they aren't doing business with you -- they just quietly disappear.  Since it is so rare that someone will tell you, be sure to mine any criticisms or negative comments you are lucky enough to hear about your book or yourself until you get to the heart of the problem. Then try to fix it.

Understanding the Nature of Your Customer Relationships Helps You Utilize Criticism
In helping authors self publish, I understand that my work involves handling someone's baby – a book he may have dreamt of his entire life. With that in mind, my own opinions may need to be carefully weighed before I push them too hard. 

Most clients are ecstatic because we are so good at what we do. However, there is a rare frown or unpleasant long pause. I understand that an author must love their book, so if I sense any unhappiness, I sit down with them and all but beg for them to tell me any criticisms they have about me, my company, the product we created, how they have been treated -- you name it, I want to know. I assure them that I want to know what they are thinking and that they may indeed hurt my feelings, but I would be more hurt if we didn't create something they absolutely love.

Criticism is a Gold Mine of Business Intelligence
I treasure any and all criticism and/or negative comments as nuggets of gold -- little bits of wisdom I can mine both to make our company better at serving our clients, and to make products and services that our clients are proud to affix their name (in 1 inch letters on the front cover!).

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