Fear of Feedback

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“When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.”
― Randy Pausch

Customer feedback is like little nuggets of gold for your business. Customers who take the time to give you feedback care. By telling you, they’re helping you to do more of the things they like, and how to improve the things they don’t like. They’re giving you tips on where to focus your effort.

Sitting with a friend yesterday, we were discussing how tough their industry is at the moment, and their need to refocus their efforts. They mentioned they were thinking about doing some customer research…

Friend: “We want to find out what’s important to our customers”.

MCG: “…and their perspectives on how you’re going on each of those key touchpoints of course”.

Friend: “Oh no, we don’t want to do that. We know they aren’t happy.”

So if they know customers aren’t happy, why don’t they want to understand and improve? Fear. Fear that the customer might tell them something bad – but isn’t that good?

By comparing what’s important to their customers, and how well they’re performing they can prioritise. High importance, poor experience – fix it fast. Low importance, great experience – don’t invest anymore effort here. Everyone knows what to work on.

What can we learn from this?

No one likes to hear they aren’t doing a good job, but it’s even worse to hear that you haven’t been doing a job for weeks, months, or even years. If customers don’t feel they can share their feedback with you, they’ll share it with someone else… wouldn’t you rather know? Encourage your customers to tell you how they feel so you can fix it!

It may take a few deep breaths to take the leap into customer feedback, and you might feel like it’s a kick in the guts when you find out you’ve been screwing up… but you’ll feel on top of the world when you hear that customers love the changes you’ve made.

What’s the best ‘Nugget of Gold’ that you’ve received recently?

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» Customer Focus » Fear of Feedback
On June 9, 2012
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