No one enjoys the feeling of receiving negative feedback.
The natural reaction is to become defensive and angry.
That’s natural; it’s also a mistake.
Negative feedback about your business is invaluable.
Consider this; would you rather deal with the occasional uncomfortable conversation or the long-term consequences of ignorance?
Here’s an example; let’s say, for some reason, the bathrooms in your facility haven’t been as clean as they should be.
A day or two might be overlooked by your clients, and they might not say anything to you… but you can be absolutely certain they’re talking about the sub-par bathroom conditions with other clients the longer it goes on, and we all know that will negatively impact their experience in your facility and tint their opinion of the work that happens there.
That example is small and meaningful.
Here’s another one; you have a fitness professional on staff that crushes it. His clients get results; he’s always on time and dressed appropriately.
From 30 feet away, looking through your office window, it seems like everything he does perfectly aligns with your facility's mission and vision.
Yet, for some reason, all his clients ask to be transferred to a different professional within 6 weeks. It seems like he should be the star of the team, but now you’re having a hard time keeping his book of business full.
What could possibly drive so many people away, both men and women?
If you don’t have an established policy for your clients to communicate negative feedback easily, you might never know, and this team member with major potential wouldn’t last long.
It could be something thing as simple as poor hygiene.
If the dude comes in smelling like Wendy’s dumpster fire, you can’t blame anyone for not wanting to be around him.
When your clients feel safe and welcome to communicate negative feedback, you can address the problem immediately; in this case, it’s an easy fix.
What if it was something bigger, like inappropriate behavior that made clients feel uncomfortable/unsafe?
Can you imagine the ripple effect of letting something like that fester in the background?
Of course, you can, and you know the effects would carry far beyond the walls of your facility. Those clients would take that home with them. Instead of feeling empowered like they were promised when they signed up, they would feel the opposite.
Instead of a reputation that acts as a magnet to attract your ideal clients, the people who desperately need your help will be repulsed.
As your team leader, it’s your responsibility to remove as much friction as possible for your clients to voice their concerns and share negative feedback.