Feedback is big. As an employer, you need to provide oodles of feedback to employees to ensure they know what they’re doing, what they’re supposed to be doing, what they’re doing well and what they could be doing better. Customer feedback provides a way to prevent little annoyances from becoming reasons to leave.
Hardest part of my job? Collecting and then reporting bad feedback to clients about their customer experience. Here are some of the awesomely horrific things I’ve had to utter to clients:
- Your employees hate their jobs. They feel useless and frustrated. They reported not getting enough direction or feedback to do their jobs – or even to care enough about them.
- Your customers have asked for <improvement A> on the web site or application for years. They don’t understand why it’s not a priority and your competitor is delivering on it now.
- Your sales team has an adversarial relationship with your marketing group. They are, in essence, working against each other and the customers are paying for it when their expectations aren’t met.
- Customers have reported leaving because of a lack of communication from you. They need to hear from you about things that matter to them – not just your marketing newsletter.
- Your internal communications are nothing but demands of your employees. Demanding they attend training for training’s sake doesn’t serve anyone.
- Your sales team goes out of its way to avoid showing your site to prospects. Your web site is embarrassing.
- You’ve hired the wrong people. These people get the job done – but not with a focus on the customer.
- Your social media is stagnant. Customers are begging for feedback and you’re providing them with no reason to interact.
The list goes on and on and on…
I won’t lie. It’s not easy. I had one CEO refuse to hear it. He said I must have spoken to the wrong customers. I had another who got so excited about hearing my feedback she asked me to get their people on board by training them on customer-centric attitudes.
Guess who fared better?
Difficult feedback is hard to take. We’ve all had that sinking feeling that something you know in your heart is true is laid out there for the world to see. It’s easier to ignore, deflect and defend. It’s easier to put that head in the sand and carry on with the status quo.
So I’m asking you to be brave. Take a good look. Put your defenses aside and understand that feedback, in all its ugly glory, allows you to improve proactively instead of waiting passively for the inevitable decline.
What do you think? Are there organizations and leaders out there who are ignoring the feedback that could help them soar?