As young children we’re taught not to pay attention to what others are saying about us, to not care. It’s good advice in many scenarios. Be yourself and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about you. But while this may be good advice and it may work at an individual level, it may also hurt or kill a company.
I love where I work for many reasons. One big reason right now is that there is a big emphasis, from the top down, to find out what our clients are saying about us. We, of course, have several ways for clients to provide feedback, but historically the volume of helpful feedback that we get has been low. With my focus primarily being an advocate for quality and for the customer, I am highly interested and motivated to know what our clients think. If a colleague were to ask them about us, would they tell them they LOVE us or would they tell them to run for the hills? In my last post I talked about quality at a high level, and this time I wanted to address one of the lower level points I mentioned, which was “Get Your Bearings.”
I have taken a very pro-active role in our company when it comes to getting our bearings. A lot of effort has gone into asking our clients to rate the likelihood that they would recommend us and then even more importantly to find out the big reason(s) behind the ratings. This has involved reaching out to hundreds of clients and asking some simple questions: Why did you decide to score us a 9 or a 10? or What is the biggest reason(s) behind a low score? and finally, What is the biggest thing that we could improve upon or change that would make you more likely to rate us higher next time? These are simple questions that can be answered in a sentence or two (taking only a minute or two), but provide great insight into the reason behind the score. So what do we do with this info? It is extremely important that we share this information with those that need to know it, quickly and granularly. Every day we distribute this to our executive team in a daily report we affectionately call “The Daily Nuggets.” Why Nuggets? Because this feedback is as good as gold to us! There has been an overwhelming response from those that receive this report that it helps them to keep at the front of their mind what the customers are saying and that it can help impact the decisions that they make on a daily basis. It also helps us know who we are speaking to and what is important to them right now, today.
Another thing we also do with this information is compile all of it together each month to try to identify bigger-picture, long term things we can do to help our clients as a whole. Without having this feedback, many decisions might seem like random stabs in the dark. But with this feedback we can evaluate our theories about what is working, what is not working, or we can discover things that we never even considered to be either an issue or a solution for our clients. I personally can’t see any company with a client base not needing to have something similar set up. What about you?
Do you have more customers telling everyone they love you, or do you have more customers telling everyone to steer clear? Either way, come up with a way to find out and get your bearings. You may be surprised by the results.