Why Negative Feedback In Your Spiritual Business Can Be Extremely Healthy. Why we should never be scared of negative feedback in our holistic or spiritual business.
Why Negative Feedback Can Be Important
This week I was asked to review a product I was supposed to get from an amazing project that supplies organic food. The service is excellent and they go up and beyond what they need to do for their customers. I am happy to support this project when I can even though they are still small and can’t always supply everything I need for my very specific dietary requirements. But a week or so ago, there was a small issue with the order. It wasn’t a big deal something had been missing but it wasn’t a big deal so I didn’t report it.
But the company had sent a review request for the product I didn’t receive, so I decided to let them know. And the reply was “we really value and encourage everyone’s feedback, and negative feedback is actually more valuable to us as it highlights issues we need to address”. This is such an important aspect of running a business. It helps us identify issues we don’t always consider or see, it can help us improve our products and services. It can be easy to assume our clients are 100% happy but if we don’t ask we don’t know.
Negative Feedback As A Spiritual Solopreneur
If you are a spiritual solopreneur, you may dread the thought of negative feedback especially if you are in many ways the product or service. But negative feedback helps us all grow, and it is an important element about running any business. Now that doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything a customer says. They say the customer is always right and what I think that means is, they, of course, should be free to express their opinion if they are unhappy.
And yes, of course, we need to consider what they say carefully. But yes there is always the occasional client or customer who is demanding, needy, manipulative, or tends to have unrealistic expectations. I remember someone offering to do a beta test for some of my products a brand-new coach who had just completed some basic-level coaching training. She commented on how she felt my course which was less than £50 and was based on teachings that cost me thousands of pounds to learn, should be free. While she felt she should be charging 4 times that for something she was just a beginner in. She had no understanding of marketing or business and had never invested in any sort of business or marketing so she had no idea of what she would normally pay for a course like that. And she clearly wasn’t my ideal client.
Equally, as a business owner, it is important to listen to our clients and customers. And to really consider what could be improved on without taking things too personally. It also can help us identify who is and who is not our ideal clients or soul clients. And where we may need to be clearer on what our product or service does and what it doesn’t. One common example in the holistic and spiritual sector is where we suggest our product or service can help with everything, but what does that mean 1/% , 10%, 100% improvement, short-term, long-term, temporary, or permanent, there can be huge differences in what we are selling and what we may be implying.
I remember one of my friends who is a business coach, talking about a situation where a therapist couple who were struggling in their holistic business, commented that their customers were so happy they didn’t need to come back. She asked them if this is what their clients told them and they said NO we assumed they didn’t come back because we helped them so much in one session they were healed. Now as she explained the only way they would ever know why their clients came back was if they asked for 100% honest feedback. And that you should never assume anything about your products or services. It is important to find out from a lot of clients and customers their experiences to get a much more accurate view of your products and services.
I know from my own personal experience I spent years buying products and services that underdelivered on their promises where I just never went back. I also used many services over a long period of time when the therapist convinced me that it would take time, to see results. The issue was most never asked for feedback and I felt uncomfortable about telling them the truth because they never asked. So it can be easy to make a lot of assumptions about our client’s and customers’ experiences. It is important to ask and find out, so you know who are your ideal clients are and what your best products and services are.
One of the things I did for years as a contractor was put out regular customer satisfaction questions asking for feedback on my work or the work of any of the therapists who were contracted by me. Some of the questionnaires were for the service users and the people or organisations who hired me. The questions were very specific feedback on things like the quality of the sessions, the professionalism of the trainer or therapist, and any suggestions for improvements or other classes, or services they would be interested in. This was invaluable in my business, thankfully we always got great feedback and any suggestions just helped us see what we needed to do more of.
Like everyone at the beginning of my career, the last thing I wanted was any sort of negative feedback. But I learned how quickly this could be valuable in so many ways. Some of it toughened me up, grow up and some of it helped me recognise who was not my ideal clients. One example was when I went into taking a meditation class a bit stressed because of a whole series of events including my car breaking down which caused me to be late. One client and student rightly so pointed out how it was more important for me to be late and more relaxed than on time and extremely stressed. She highlighted how important it was for me to walk my talk and ouch how right she was. This was extremely valuable negative feedback that was extremely helpful in my own growth. I am extremely grateful for this woman.
When running a spiritual business we have to have a certain level of maturity, and be able to keep our ego in check. Look at negative feedback as a great opportunity for spiritual growth and of course an opportunity for healthier business growth. It is one of the reasons I suggest business owners ask for product feedback when they are beta-testing a product than a product or service review. Because when asking someone to try out your product or service you want that person to be completely honest and transparent, just asking for feedback feeds the ego more than actually really getting any accuracy on that person’s opinion of your product or service.
Unfortunately in both the holistic and spiritual industry, there is a lot of ego rubbing than actual true honesty. A healthy business requires honest feedback so it can improve its products and services. Don’t be scared about sending out a product or service feedback review, especially on new products and services. It can help you find out if your product or service reached the client or customer’s expectations. It can also be a very natural way to get great feedback that you can ask if you can use as a client or customer review.by