Call it what you will:  constructive criticism, feedback, a gentle nudge..the fact is, having someone assess and comment on your performance can be uncomfortable. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable and a commitment to transparency, neither of which is easy to achieve, and it’s sometimes hard to know how you should respond. The challenge is only magnified when comments are posted online for all to see, as in the case of a review.

Arming yourself with best practices for handling feedback of all flavors is the best way to build your reputation and develop new relationships via the OnCall Discovery platform. 

The Bad

Sooner or later, we all get negative feedback. Nobody is perfect. Still, a negative review may seem unfair, and even when you know the reviewer’s comments are justified and accurate, it’s painful to have your company’s shortcomings dragged out into the public eye. Here are some tips for handling negative feedback.

  • No matter what, remember that your reviewer spent time and effort on you. That’s a gift.
  • Even if you feel their perspective was inaccurate, you should bear in mind that it’s just that: their perspective. You know your company better than anyone, and you can probably list a dozen positives for every shred of criticism.
  • A negative review might leave you feeling defensive. Resist the urge to justify, explain, or otherwise argue with your reviewer. Instead, consider inviting reviewers to contact your company directly to schedule a follow-up call. Some companies schedule these by default, and some don’t. They’re a great way to learn more about what your company is doing well, where you can improve, and how your client feels about the experience they had with you.

The Good

Positive comments bring their own set of challenges: handle them well, and they can be a powerful testament to your company’s abilities and values. Handle them poorly, and you’ll have missed an opportunity, at best; at worst, you might actually cast your firm in a poor light. 

Even if clients do nothing but sing your praises, the way you respond makes a big difference.

A positive review is a chance to strengthen an already solid relationship, get your foot in the door on a future project, and demonstrate your values in front of the whole community. For example, consider this comment and the accompanying reply:

We really enjoyed working with the team at Perry Mason Discovery. They did a great job managing a complex collection process that involved several different legacy sources.

Thanks for the review! It was our pleasure – let us know how we can help in the future.

Now, while the above note is a perfectly pleasant response, it’s also a missed opportunity. Instead, the provider could have replied with something like this:

Thanks for the review! We’re glad the team was able to handle your tricky collection project, and we hope you’ll keep us in mind for future projects.  Legacy data sources are just one of our specialties – we invite anyone who needs forensic collection/analysis, collection from social media, or mobile device data management to give us a call!

The Ugly

Most of the time people offer feedback that’s polite and professional, and the OnCall Discovery team vets reviews before making them public. Still, you may find yourself on the receiving end of some harsh commentary. That’s the nature of reviews: sometimes  and if that happens, you’ll want to take some time to think about how you’ll respond.

  • If a reviewer’s statements are upsetting, don’t write a response until you’ve calmed down.
  • e-Discovery is a challenging, often stressful business. Remember that a really harsh review might very well be a reflection of someone’s bad day – or bad week. 

Claim your OnCall Discovery company profile today and be OCD about getting reviews. 

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