Feedback – Friend or Foe?

Stagnation and complacency in business, just like with anything in life, can be one’s downfall. To avoid this, businesses spend millions in research dollars for innovations that will help them to ensure continued relevance of their products and services in the market.  Small businesses need not resort to shelling out this kind of money for advancements.  With the practice of the regular solicitation, collection and study of client feedback, one may actually find that after the removal of the muck and dirt it may initially contain, there actually can be pearls of wisdom one may use to further advance a business.  Below is an article shared by a blogger that might just persuade one to take on this sometimes unpleasant exercise.

This blogger, feeling she finally deserves to hire professional cleaners after reaching a particular business milestone, decided to start her journey by informing herself of options available.   Research of what professional cleaning involves, the contractors available in her area and exploratory talks resulted to a clear picture of what to generally expect.   Armed with enough information, she finally chose and engaged someone to come every two weeks to do her cleaning for her.

On the first date of cleaning, the experience promised to be delightful: the cleaners arrived on schedule, cleaned and dusted their way through her house and left in record time.  Upon closer inspection after the cleaning team left, however, found the lady of the house wanting.   Where sparkling spots were expected, there lay sheets of dust.  Some areas were not cleaned according to her standards and worse, some areas were not cleaned at all.  When one pays for a service, one has the right to expect the service to be done well, right?

Fortunately, the lady of the house was a sensible one.  Before reporting her dissatisfaction, she decided to test whether her expectations were too high or sensible enough.  She conducted this test by engaging another cleaner to come the following week. In the end, they did a better job than the first so the final contract was awarded to them.

Feeling a sense of duty to professionally inform the first contractor that their services shall no longer be required, this lady of ours called the first contractor.  Prior to the call, she made a list of things that caused her to be unsatisfied with their service with the intent of providing client feedback to help them win future contracts. Alas, the only conversation that transpired was “Okay, fine” and then the dead silence of a dial tone.  The phone was hung up.

To succeed in business, take the highs and the lows and simply convert danger into opportunities.  Easier said than done, yes, but the rewards can make it worthwhile.

For our blogger lady, she mulled and came up with an educated guess for the treatment she got.  She speculates that the rejected cleaner may have been caught in surprise because maybe she thought she had done a great job and with this surprise came the initial reaction of being defensive thus, the dropped call.

Understand that client feedback may cause you to be taken aback at first.  It often is placed in a negative context by its writers so inexperienced businessmen easily take the stance of that rejected cleaner – take everything personally and be defensive.  However, do take note that client feedback is not a reflection of you as a person but instead, a reflection of the product or service you offer so don’t be afraid to ask for it.  Take time to listen to both the good and the bad because it may be a learning opportunity for one’s product or service to improve and thus be more competitive.

Best of all, listening to feedback shows your client you wish to keep them by keeping their satisfaction in mind.

There is no need to waste away millions of research dollars if your business cannot afford it yet.  Improvement comes from lessons learned and these can present itself through various ways – client feedback is one of them.   Do not let your business shy away from client feedback.  These little tidbits of information can be your allies.  Who knows, one of them may just be your diamond in the ruff!

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