You know that client who makes you so frustrated, you start seeing red?

He’s actually presenting you with a great opportunity!

Negative feedback – whether it’s about your field associates, your internal team, your service, your website or anything else – is a gift.

Yep. A gift.

In business, the best lessons often come from criticism – not pats on the back. Praise may be gratifying to hear, but it doesn’t teach you where or how to improve your service.

So the next time a staffing client spouts off on social media or approaches you directly with a complaint, give that hater a metaphorical hug:

  • Get past your own frustration. Fast. Instead of locking horns, thank an upset customer for the free “market research” and the opportunity he’s given you to improve your customer service.
  • Make it easy for customers to complain. The truth? Most unhappy clients will never say a word to you. They’ll just take their business elsewhere (and you don’t want that!). Check in at each stage of your service to be sure you’re hitting the mark. And if you do drop the ball, set your service recovery process in motion. Turn your upset staffing clients into your biggest fans.
  • Pay attention to patterns. If clients experience the same types of problems over and over again, take heed. Instead of putting a “band aid” on each individual issue, identify the root cause of the problem. And fix it. It may require more effort, but solving the underlying problem will prevent multiple future occurrences.
  • Be wary of silence. Ever watch a horror movie? The scariest parts typically occur after it gets really, really quiet. So even if you haven’t received any client complaints recently, don’t mistake silence for satisfaction. Actively solicit feedback to gauge how shareworthy your service is.
  • Leverage what you learn. Think of the negative feedback you receive from haters as – ahem – “fertilizer.” Use the problems you encounter (and hopefully resolve) as examples of your customer service excellence in action (e.g., use patterns of questions/issues to create a customer FAQ, or create case studies based on great service recovery stories). Everyone makes mistakes in business, but it’s how you handle those mistakes that truly defines the type of staffing or recruiting firm you are.

How do you hug your haters – and turn upset clients into true fans? I’d love to know – leave your comment below!

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