As an employer, you need to provide oodles of feedback to employees to ensure they know what they’re doing, what they’re supposed to be doing, what they’re doing well and what they could be doing better. Bad feedback from employees and customers alike provides a way to prevent little annoyances from becoming reasons for good people to leave you.
Bad feedback is BIG feedback!
And the hardest part of my job? Collecting and then reporting bad feedback to clients about things that harm their customer experience. So here are some of the awesomely horrific things I’ve had to utter to clients:
1. Your employees hate their jobs.
In fact, they feel useless and frustrated. They reported not getting enough direction or feedback to do their jobs – or even to care enough about them.
2. Your website or app stinks.
Customers have asked for the same website or app improvement over and over. They don’t understand why it’s not a priority, because your competitor is delivering on it now! In fact, your sales team goes out of its way to avoid showing it to prospects. Oof.
3. Sales and Marketing are at war.
They are, in essence, working against each other and the customers are paying for it when their expectations aren’t met.
4. Your customer communication is self-serving or nonexistent.
Customers have reported leaving simply because you’re not communicating effectively with them. They need to hear from you about things that matter to them – not just your marketing newsletter.
5. Your internal communications are cold and numbing.
They do nothing but scold and make demands of your employees. It’s important to keep them informed, but shaming them for the way they do their jobs, or demanding they attend training for training’s sake, doesn’t serve anyone.
6. You’ve hired the wrong people.
You’ve chosen people who have the right sets of skills over those who truly want to do right by your customers. These people get the job done with a focus on process and policy, not with a focus on the customer experience.
7. Your social media is stagnant.
Customers are offering you vital feedback and you’re providing them with no response or reason to interact any further with your brand.
The list goes on and on and on…
So, what are customers saying about you?
I won’t lie. It’s not easy to listen to these things.
I had one CEO refuse to hear it. In fact, he said I must have spoken to the wrong customers! But then I had another who got so excited about hearing my feedback she asked me to get their people on board by training them on customer-centric attitudes.
Guess who fared better?
Difficult feedback is hard to take.
We’ve all had that sinking feeling that something you know in your heart is true is laid out there for the world to see. It’s easier to ignore, deflect and defend. It’s easier to put that head in the sand and carry on with the status quo.
So I’m asking you to be brave.
Take a good look. Put your defenses aside and understand that feedback, in all its ugly glory, allows you to improve proactively instead of waiting passively for the inevitable decline.
What do you think? Are there organizations and leaders out there who are ignoring the feedback that could help them soar?