Getting It All Out There
As a small business owner, I know that it can be daunting (to say the least) to let negative feedback be out there in the world. However, there is a trend in companies that allow—and even welcome—negative feedback. While it seems as though there would be many things that would be undesirable about allowing unhappy reactions to be posted to your website or promoting bad reviews of products, there are some benefits.
Before getting into reasons why you might want to take some of the tricks companies like Domino's Pizza are using (and before giving tips on how you can scale these down to fit your small business), it's important to take a look at what Domino's has been doing.
In the image to the right, you'll notice that the words on the billboard are not praising the company, instead, they are critiquing it. It says "Quality of ingredients still lacking in areas. For example, fresh jalapeños instead of canned would be better (esp. on Fiery Hawaiian)." Some companies might shirk away from sharing such commentary with the general public. Domino's shares it live, as the comments come in from customers, through a feed in Times Square. Commenters can then later view the feed on the company's website.
What makes this kind of honesty great is that it gives customers the chance to see that Domino's is comfortable enough with their products and service that they believe their business will outshine the negative feedback. Additionally, the transparency involved in this action demonstrates to others that the company does not feel the need to hide things from consumers. Finally, by making things public, the company gains a greater incentive to be accountable for improving the quality of their products. For example, if many people wrote in advising the company to use fresh rather than canned jalapeños, then the pressure would be on to make this quality improvement.