I am a big fan of Stephen Covey’s leadership principles. His concepts of the Emotional Bank Account and Circles of Concern and Influence have survived the test of time. My copy of “7 Habits” is yellow and dog-eared; old and well-used! I still have my golden egg, tarnished (so, not real gold?) but a reminder of the Covey training I participated in oh so long ago.
I mention this now, because I recently stumbled across the following quote.
“It takes humility to seek feedback. it takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it.” Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
While Covey was most likely reflecting on feedback requested for personal growth, the quote can and should be applied to customer feedback for professional and business growth.
How often have you heard that customer feedback is a gift?
Are you humble enough to accept that gift and learn from it? Are you wise enough to understand what your customer is trying to tell you? Do you review it with your team and figure out what went wrong or why someone would feel that way? Do you use it to change policy or processes?
Feedback is extremely important to us at MCE. Every participant is asked at the end of every day of training to complete a short survey. We love the positive feedback.
“Future Leadership Training was a great opportunity to learn and grow as a leader. The members of our Manager team all participated, we were able to share and have our knowledge and processes validated, as well as learning together.”
While I can’t say we love the negative feedback, we absolutely value it. Fortunately, we don’t receive a lot of it however when we do, we take it seriously. We recently had a misstep where the course content was too basic for the level of participants in the session. Once identified, we went to work, first communicating with our facilitator to secure her take on it and her suggestions for change. Then the next call was to the client to discuss the feedback and seek their direction. Our Instructional Designer went to work. She reviewed our needs analysis notes, course outlines, future course outlines and looked at where she could increase the complexity of the next day’s training (that was already designed). The content was adjusted, additional resources were provided, and our excellent trainer delivered an engaging session. Positive feedback followed.
So why was this successful?
We listened to the customer. It was a team effort to resolve the situation. We didn’t overreact and throw out the whole program, we methodically examined the problem and worked together to correct it.
Here are three practices employed; how many more can you think of?
- Listen to the voice of the customer. (If you don’t your competition will.)
- Accept accountability and fix the problem.
- Act with humility and accept the gift given.
“Don’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say.” Bruce Temkin, Founder, Customer Experience Professionals Association