Consumer feedback is an important element of any business.

This article teaches you how to give constructive criticism regardless of how you feel about the product

How many times have you visited a business or bought a product and thought it was okay, but could be better? And how many of those times have you actually contacted the company and told them so? If you don’t usually go out of your way to provide feedback, you might want to consider it. If you’re dissatisfied, a company will likely do something to make it right, and you’ll be helping them improve for the next customer. The trick is to not just complain, but to give constructive criticism.

Here are some suggestions for how to give useful feedback to any company, whether you love them or you hate them.

Be Respectful

If you want to give feedback because you’re really upset about something, don’t act like you are. You must be respectful, no matter how dissatisfied you are. It’s like the old saying goes: you’ll catch more bees with honey. You can express your negative feelings without doing so in a negative way. If you’re loud, rude, angry, or disrespectful, you won’t get as positive a reaction as you would if you’re polite.
Be Specific

In order for your feedback to be most helpful, it needs to be specific. If you were unhappy with something the company produced or did, you need to tell them exactly what was wrong and in what specific ways your expectations were not met. General expressions of dissatisfaction won’t help a company get to the root of the problem.

Suggest a Resolution

After you’ve identified your specific concerns, you should suggest an equally specific way to alleviate them. Tell the company what exactly you think they should do to improve. That they need to do better is not enough: tell them how they can do better. Let them know what changes could potentially fix the problem or lead to more satisfied customers.

Give Compliments

If there was absolutely nothing you liked about a company, you might not bother trying to give them constructive feedback. Even if it’s hard to identify something good, try. Giving a compliment along with your criticism will always help sweeten things up. You’ll be demonstrating to the company that you can be fair and recognize what they’re doing well, too.

Be Timely

Do not wait to give your feedback, especially if it is in regards to a recent experience you had with the company. Your feedback should be timely. Don’t wait until long after an incident to contact the company. Contacting them right away shows your sincerity and gives them a reasonable time frame in which to address the feedback and make necessary changes.

Be Available for Follow-Up

If you’re serious about providing constructive feedback, make sure you give the company a way to follow up with you if they have more questions. If you write a letter or email, provide a phone number or return address and invite them to contact you if they would like more information. And if they do contact you, make sure to genuinely respond.

Andrew Malak is a business student at the University of Texas who loves to give advice in his free time. He often writes with the help of a grammar checker to ensure his work is of a high quality and adheres to all grammar rules.

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