How to Deal with Those Who Criticize Your Business

February 13th, 2014

girl-with-a-sour-face-1208847-mYou’re going to meet some eventually: those who do not like your business. Regardless of how well you build your brand or how well your company does, there is always someone who dislikes your company for some reason. With success comes detractors, and some of those people will pack quite a punch in more than one way. So what do you do when someone decides to heavily criticize your business, especially when what they’re saying isn’t even true? Here are a couple of ideas.

Be Creative with Your Response

Answering a comment on Facebook is always a good idea, but if you can go above and beyond just that, you’ll probably win a few new customers over (even if your criticizer doesn’t change his or her mind). For example, a company named Saddleback Leather ensures their saddlebags for 100 years, regardless of who owns the bag (so this applies to your grandchildren, too). At one point, a company began to replicate the bags, but not the quality.

So Saddleback Leather showed its customers, in a series of videos, how to knock off a Saddleback Leather bag at home. Not only did this show the inadequacies of the knock-off bag, it showed how much work went into each saddle bag that Saddleback Leather made and how it would take an expert to truly replicate the bag, even though they showed the entire process through videos. The company showed a significant increase in sales the following week after the new content was launched.

Be Honest

At one point, Taco Bell was accused of filling their taco meat with something other than straight beef. Advocates against eating meat slandered the company, saying that there were all kinds of different meats that made the ground beef what it was. Taco Bell, however, bounced back with a new “100% beef” campaign without ever calling out the people who introduced the rumors in the first place. While the campaign could have been mildly successful without the initial criticism, it was a hit because of the fake information floating around, and the company gained more loyal customers just by being honest with their answer.

While responding to  comments with grace helps, remember that sometimes a bigger accusation will need a bigger response. In addition, these critics will come and go, but your audience will always need your attention, so remember to focus more on them in the long run.

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