By Penny Tremblay
Decades ago, I would be bothered by one in one hundred evaluations that was less than excellent. Now, I ask for feedback that won’t stroke my ego, rather, will help me create a better experience for the next audience. I’ve learned the value of asking for opinions, and receiving customer feedback effectively.
“Entrepreneurs should have an open mind when hearing feedback from clients” I told Gabrielle Piché of the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada in a recent interview. The same strategy goes for team members in an organization. Feedback given and received properly can create the culture of candor that helps build productivity and profit.
Although we can’t control how people say things, or what their intentions are, we can control what we make it mean. That’s our own internal work, and just one of the many reasons that I always say that conflict resolution is an inside job.
It’s not pleasant to hear feedback if you make it mean something negative. What if you could make it mean something constructive instead? Feedback is just one person’s opinion until you hear it more than once, and a pattern of similar feedback could be offering you a gift – a clue to how you can delight a customer or colleague.
Sometimes hearing customer feedback is enough.
There are times when nothing more than listening and restating the client’s concern is the best way to make a client feel heard; and that’s all they want. In fact, understanding and restating is always the first step, even if more resolution is required.
Receiving your customer’s point of view or criticism might be a great gift to help you understand what is needed to take your business to the next level of excellence. The most important response you can have to any feedback is the same response as you’d have when someone gives you a gift. “Thank you.”
The difference between receiving feedback as an insult, or receiving it as a gift is just choosing a different thought. Easier said than done, but it’s possible.
Speaking of feedback, I love hearing what you like or what you’d suggest more or less of in my articles.