13 October 2020

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

When talking about feedback, we all know which is the best type to receive, but when discussing the feedback we’re most likely to give, does ‘good’ still take first place?

They say if you’ve had a great experience with a brand, you’ll tell two people, versus the five people you’ll tell if you had a bad experience. And this is the starting point for our discussion – isn’t it a shame that we’re not naturally inclined to tell more people about the good experience? That’s not to say we think bad experiences or bad service shouldn’t be brought to attention – quite the opposite, you have to know when something’s gone wrong to be able to put it right – but why do we talk about the good stuff less?

And this got us thinking more broadly about life and positive feedback. As a nation, we’re a conservative bunch. This quality is what makes up a large part of any generalised, stereotypical impression of Brits. We’re not naturally gushy – we’re a little apologetic, a little embarrassed and very self-deprecating – we’re the introvert to America’s extrovert. In a lot of ways, this quality is something to be proud of. Our collective sense of humour and the comedy we produce is better for it. But wouldn’t it be nice if we gave as much importance to positive feedback as we did to negative? Why is it that we find it easy to ‘like’ and share the work of celebrities who we don’t even know, yet when our good friend branches out on a new creative endeavour or shares something they’ve been working hard on, we’re less likely to reach out with praise? Have you ever noticed on your own social media that you get more ‘likes’ on a selfie than you do of a painting you’ve done, or a song you’ve released or a cause close to your heart [or insert anything relevant here]? Have you written an email of complaint to a brand who needed to know what they could have done better, but not bothered when they’ve done everything brilliantly? We’ve all done it, but why is that? Perhaps it’s about affecting change – feedback that’s negative but constructive can help a brand evolve and improve, whereas ‘you’re doing a great job, carry on’ although nice, is maybe considered not useful. No news is good news, as they say.

It sounds like something you just say or a knee-jerk reaction, but when a customer takes the time to email us just to tell us they had a great experience with Petalon, it really does make our day. We’re a small team – that email gets read by one person and (especially if it’s been one of those weeks) it gets forwarded on. That email has a genuine, positive impact on the people who read it. It is a droplet in a pond but the ripples spread wide. It may only take 5 minutes to write that email or review, but the effects of it are long-lasting. And having experienced the impact of that, we realise how important it is for us to do the same to others.

So let’s start a positivity revolution. If you think something nice, why not say something nice too? If you’ve had a positive experience with a brand (that isn’t us, we’re not just fishing for compliments here), why not tell them? Let’s restore the positive/negative balance and make sure we’re giving equal weight to both. Because behind every brand, business, email address and social media account is people. And people need constructive and positive feedback to grow. So tell that friend you think is talented, write a good review for a small business you love, thank that waiter who went the extra mile on that special occasion; you will be making someone’s day, we promise.

Back to blog

Sign up to our newsletter for 10% off