A Friday thought…..’How good are you at taking customer feedback?’
What is your immediate gut response to somebody saying they don’t like your product or service levels? How active are you in learning what your customers/clients think about your product or service? How good are you at taking negative client feedback?
If I am being brutally honest, for the majority of my working and sporting career, I wasn’t particularly good at taking negative or constructive feedback. On receiving some let’s say ‘constructive criticism’ my initial response would generally be defensive, with a mindset that they are wrong and just don’t know the full picture, or you are looking at things from the wrong perspective.
As a business owner, I have learned that this is not a good approach to dealing with your clients or people. If I was to give some advice to my past self it would be ‘Shut up and listen’.
Whilst the ‘Customer is always right’ adage is somewhat simplistic, it is a wholly better starting point than saying ‘I am always right’
Over the past 12 months, I have taken a firm approach with Clerkin Consulting to constantly ask my clients and the people within their organisations how they rate our services. For example, after every offsite workshop, I immediately send out a quick online 10-point survey to gauge how the day went, but most importantly to learn how we can improve.
When I initially started this approach, I used to get a little bit affronted when a negative score or comment came back. Old habits die hard and all that… Now I look for them specifically. Why?
Well thankfully by engaging and listening to my clients over the past year, and continually improving how we do things, the feedback we now receive is, I am glad to say, overwhelmingly positive. However, there has yet to be a feedback survey received that there hasn’t been some opportunity for improvement identified that we can then bring on to the next engagement. For me, that is the key to our consistently positive relationships with our clients.
So if you are like my old self, or don’t routinely look for customer feedback to learn how to further improve your offering I can’t encourage you enough to take some time to really listen to what your clients really think of you. In business, it is their opinion that matters the most!
Have a great weekend.