Probably nothing is further away from us than sharing personal experiences in a professional environment, unless we feel that it is something that may have a profound impact on those principles we share and are the vocals of. Let us, this time, start from a bit afar, in order to make our forthcoming points clear in their broader context.
We have to admit, we are not those types giving reviews on everything, other than in person, when saying ’thank you’ for the services received, either in a warm and appreciative or a rather cold and distant way. This reluctance may come through as passivity, ignorance or lack of cooperative attitude, especially in times when we are encouraged to give feedback, opinion, not to mention judgement, instantly, on the spot, no matter what. On the spot, for us means: often without much consideration, compassion or even any contemplation. Moreover, without any knowledge on the potential consequences. We hereby take the risk to mention that those customers, who are in a similar position (similar in the sense of mostly avoiding to provide reviews) may have their good reasons, and – probably as a surprise – might be those who may contribute with real value to these reviews – once approached properly. We will explain why, later in the series.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge that receiving feedback from the customers is key, at least if you take continuous improvement seriously, thus our professional focus is – of course – on advising our clients to do it in a meaningful, reliable and sound way, so as the outcome to be suitable for building the right internal decisions/procedures on it. Unfortunately, implementation is not always as it should be, and we observe with disappointment how a well-defined objective may be vanishing in the haze due to low-quality set of means chosen to achieve it…
In this series of articles, we are about to give a bit of a headspace to our personal experience, the collection of communication pieces over the years from customer service persons/departments, such as some generalised suggestions for further thinking for our potential clients – the product/service providers. Let us begin with a general advice:
#1. Don't do it for the sake of doing it
If we would like to explain, why, very shortly: it is (a) waste of time, (b) waste of money and (c) capable of creating negative reputation. Why would you spend even a minute on putting together a list of questions if you are not interested in the answers and not about to act on them? Why would you spend on developing this function and collecting the data you are not about to use? To go a bit further: an over-simplified, unreasonable, cynic or simply low-quality query may create an impression of neglect, ignorance, or even arrogance, not to mention that it may lead to questioning one’s professionalism. We do not consider any of these as positive. Do you?
How can you recognise that you are on the wrong path? How can you avoid it? How to mend an already misplaced one?
What are the most common traps? Why do we state that these are traps? What are the most important ‘do not do’ issues which may completely derail your concerned internal processes?
How can the ‘human factor’ kick-in the wrong way in the implementation phase to set off the possible positive results of an otherwise well-established process? What can you do about it?
These are some highlights of those details that the forthcoming articles will focus on. Besides listing the experienced negative examples, we are about to provide some suggestions to avoid or replenish them. All for the reasons of helping entrepreneurs, companies to achieve the ultimate goal: provide useful, high-quality and reliable products and services for the customers, meaning a win-win situation at the end of the day.
These articles cannot be considered as scientific analyses, will not fit everyone’s position, of course. We are sharing them as an inspiration to raise the right questions internally, and provide some directions to take when looking for an appropriate, tailor-made solution.
If you are considering a review of your processes and would like to have a quick valuation from us, take your chance and ask for a preliminary consultation.