As CEO of a leading commercial skills training and coaching company, I’m a big believer in practising what we preach and asking for feedback from our clients to ensure we keep raising our game. As Bill Gates so wisely said, “we all need people that give us feedback. This is how we improve.”
In today’s increasingly competitive workplace, standing still is no longer an option – in fact it’s the fastest way of going backwards. Companies need to harness the power of customer feedback to help them fine-tune their performance so they can keep raising the bar.
3 ways feedback helps your company stay at the top of their game:
It helps you drive for continuous improvement:
In my experience, companies are more likely to ask for feedback internally but often shy away from asking their clients for deep dive feedback. Perhaps people feel it shows a lack of self-confidence and vulnerability which is uncomfortable, or are worried about “bombarding” their customers with questions. Whatever the barrier, my advice is to be brave and find out what your clients really think about you. Remind yourself that knowledge is power. By asking your clients just a few pertinent questions and understanding their responses, you can gain invaluable insight into how your customer views your products and services. Remember, you don’t have to do this in person, using customer feedback specialists such as www.customer-relationship.com to conduct the survey and collate the feedback can ensure you gather objective and incisive information.
It helps you close down any blind spots:
There’s a reason feedback is described as the breakfast of champions – it helps companies focus on their key strengths and areas of development so they can delight their customers. The Johari Window explains why feedback is so important.
The OPEN box shows what is known to others as well as yourself. This could be your company’s high level of technical expertise. The BLIND SPOT is what is known to others but not known to you; an example might be low levels of customer satisfaction or innovation levels. The UNKNOWN box is what is not yet known to others or to yourself, such as how economic uncertainty will affect your business. Finally, the HIDDEN box is what is known to you but not known to others – this could be new product development that you are deliberately keeping confidential for now. Gathering feedback from your customer base will ensure you close down any of your company’s blind spots and ultimately help your company to improve its performance.
It shows your customers you value their opinion:
Asking your customers for feedback is a powerful way to build loyalty. It tells them that you value their point of view and are committed to fine-tuning your offering to meet their changing requirements. Once you’ve been brave enough to ask your customers for feedback, it is best practice to follow up afterwards to thank them for their time, demonstrate that you have taken on board their views and communicate the steps you are taking to improve their experience of your company. The whole feedback process will help you build trust, increase collaboration and improve relationships in the longer term.
Finally, given the increasing focus on customer experience, it’s important to bear in mind that companies that ignore customer feedback do so at their peril. It’s only by gathering feedback and implementing appropriate changes that companies can truly become their customer’s champion.