Embrace Negative Feedback in your Art Studio
Do you get nervous when you hear the word ‘negative feedback’? You are not alone. Nobody likes to learn that their work or business is underappreciated or something is not working.
But whether we like it or not, negative feedback is crucial in growing and improving your Art Studio. It is hard, but learn to put your emotions aside and appreciate when your students, staff, clients, family and friends take the time to be honest with you. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace their honesty for the greater good of your business.
Why embracing and addressing negative feedback is so important?
You learn the most from them - If you hear only good things about your Art Studio you will stay in the dark and not discover many of the areas that need improvement. You will risk losing your best students, teachers and money along the way.
Increases referrals – If you’re like most Art Studios, a lot of your new student inquires would come from current student recommending family members and friends. You don’t want any reasons for a student or parent not to recommend your Art Studio, so it’s important that you regularly check in to ensure there are no frustrations that may affect their recommendation.
Builds loyalty – You never want to be surprised when a family leaves abruptly or doesn’t come back for the following year with no apparent reason. You need to aim to find out any issues right away so that you can respond with amazing customer service and problem-solving. Make an effort to seek their feedback, good or bad, and be responsive.
Helps with retention – It is human nature for people to avoid awkward conversations, so when you ask someone how they’re finding things, they will likely say, ‘Oh, just fine’. Then they then go home and complain about that ‘fine’ thing to their family and friends. Make sure that you’re making feedback really easy, you appreciate their honesty and they can have an open communication with you.
Reinforces your reputation – This is a big one. Implementing a feedback strategy allows you to hear your students and families frustration first before they tell their friends. Be appreciative of their feedback, honestly thank them for it, then take action (and show them you’re taking action) before they go and tell the world.
Now, the golden rules of an effective and seamless feedback strategy.
1/ Be clear on your objectives
If you’re going to implement a feedback system, make sure you take the responses seriously and plan to pay attention to what people are saying – good and bad. Don’t dismiss negative feedback just because you don’t like it or feel defensive with comebacks like “well if they read our newsletter, they would have known that!”. They’ve obviously not read the newsletter. Your job now is to make sure they do.
2/ Make the feedback process easy and efficient
Implement multiple choice and plain text answers in your feedback system. Respect their time and always assure them that their voice will be heard and action will be taken.
3/ Ask the right questions
Make sure that your questions are short, sharp, specific and most of all, relevant for them and you. For example, a less-productive question like ‘Do you like your teacher?’ could
be replaced with, ‘On a scale from 1-5, how inspiring, knowledgeable and encouraging is your teacher, with 5 being the best outcome.’
4/ Time it well
Think about after which events asking for feedback is the most efficient – it could be at the end of a workshop or after a camp. Sending surveys immediately after longer events means that their thoughts are still fresh.
When it is time to analyze your results, see if there are common issues, and address those right away. Communicate your actions taken to your team and families.
Sending a feedback form is now easier than ever, and you can use tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms with just a couple of clicks.
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