When your product change is greeted by a torrent of complaints, what should you do?

Edited excerpt from Rework by Jason Fried:

After you introduce a new feature, change a policy, or remove something, knee-jerk reactions will pour in.

Resist the urge to panic or make rapid changes in response. Passions flare in the beginning. That’s normal. But if you ride out that first rocky week, things usually settle down. People are creatures of habit. That’s why they react to change in such a negative way. People often respond before they give a change a fair chance.

Also, remember that negative reactions are almost always louder and more passionate than positive ones. In fact, you may hear only negative voices even when the majority of your customers are happy about a change. Make sure you don’t foolishly backpedal on a necessary but controversial decision.

So when people complain, let things simmer for a while.

(1) Even if you wait a week, how do you know then if you made a genuine mistake? True, reacting to immediate complaints can be a mistake. But shutting yourself off from user feedback is risky.
(2) It’s easy to react emotionally to negative feedback. But as Eli Hoffmann (SA’s VP Content) points out, a torrent of user complaints shows that people really care about your product.

3 thoughts on “When your product change is greeted by a torrent of complaints, what should you do?

  1. Pingback: Best practices in getting user feedback on your product | A Founder's Notebook

  2. Pingback: How to respond to critical customer feedback | A Founder's Notebook

  3. Pingback: Don’t be satisfied with sales, seek love | A Founder's Notebook

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