We were listening to the radio when a disc jockey began discussing Amy’s Baking Company, a Scottsdale restaurant that cooked up tons of attention after a very controversial TV appearance. The disc jockey explained she would interview someone from the restaurant later in the day. A caller told her on air that one of the biggest lessons people could learn from the situation is not to take criticism personally. The disc jockey responded by explaining such a task is easier said than done. She then repeated this point of view and argued not taking criticism personally is difficult when people are so harsh yet don’t even know you.
On one hand, she is correct. Most businesses can probably share stories of when their blood began to boil due to ungrateful clients. And when we have posted blogs questioning conventional wisdom, readers posted harsh comments that, among other things, unfairly attacked our education, experience, and professionalism.
Amy’s Baking Company raises numerous angles to discuss. But for the purposes of this blog, the lesson is that even if customers slap you verbally, business owners must take the high road. Explain you understand their concerns. Thank them for their feedback. Promise to get back to them with a response if you need time to think it over and cool off. Apologize when appropriate. And if a client is unreasonable on a recurring basis, fire them. But you shouldn’t respond in the same unprofessional way you may have been criticized. Otherwise, you’re asking for a recipe of trouble that will boil over into areas you never saw coming.