View Full Version : Question of the week: What's the most effective way to solicit feedback?
02-21-2011, 08:16 AM
I think we'd all agree that feedback is an important part of shaping your business and your professional life. But how it's solicited can often shape the feedback itself. What do you think is the most effective way to solicit meaningful feedback?
And yes, it's okay to talk about the many types of feedback; from customers, from superiors, from staff and everywhere in between.
02-21-2011, 02:07 PM
I like to ask for a personal meeting - breakfast or coffee, and ask the customer how they viewed the work I've done for them. And then I listen. I accept everything they have to say, don't defend myself, and let them see me take notes.
I find that a person-to-person meeting is most effective. For remote clients, I try to set up video conferences (Skype is great).
I think it's very important to not just get feedback, but to make sure my customer is completely satisfied. I find that this approach makes it much more likely that I'll get the NEXT job. Here's a recent post on this subject: http://whowritesforyou.com/2011/02/08/getting-down-to-business-guaranteeing-satisfaction/
02-22-2011, 08:26 AM
I think I have to work on not getting defensive. I think I have come a long way but maybe before I start a meeting where I am expecting feedback I can convince myself that I need to sit and listen.
In my case the most effective way to solicit feedback is after hitting a key milestone or after finishing a project. In the military after you finish or accomplish a task (mission) you do an after action review. Depending on how sensitive the project is these review or feedback request can be done from daily to weekly. In this matter I have no surprises by the client not being happy for a long time.
The most effective way is requesting it often so then you don't have to request it and they just handed it to you. Making it part of the routine.
For me, I prefer "relaxed" feedback sessions. One on one feedback is important, and I think in a relaxed settings (cocktails, or a beer perhaps), both parties have an opportunity to really just share the good with the bad.
One thing I like to do after doing a sales call with a salesman is recapping on the drive back to the office. Here's what I think we could improve on for next time, and here's what I think went great (someone taught me to always end on a positive note).
02-24-2011, 09:40 AM
This is a hard one. I think it is so challenging because customers are fearful of confrontation, feeling like we'll take it personal or get defensive (many do). As a result they just slip away as clients.
I try to help this by setting the expectation that we WILL make mistakes and we REALLY want to know when we do. Then the hard second step--embrace the criticism and acknowledge the value of the feedback, even if you don't implement the feedback.
02-24-2011, 11:39 PM
Maybe one piece worth discussing is how often you ask. Ask over and over. Ask in many different channels. Way too often, businesses ask once in a long while, and in only one way. The more you ask, the better results you'll get.
04-22-2011, 10:13 AM
Just read Joe's post this morning. I have used the SSC practice over the years with great success. It has usually been implemented in a facilitated workshop that is largely around change (culture change, process change, behavioral change). With Mazda sales people we trained around a better retail experience and it takes the leadership to stand behind the change. We asked them what they would SSC in their daily processes. With Aramark Uniform Services, we were trying to shift their thinking and actions to a customer-centric culture (big, big change) and asked what could THEY do to improve employee engagement, what would the Exec Team need to do to support their efforts, and what could they ask of their employees to SSC to improve overall culture. In these group settings, when people share with each other, a bit of groupthink emerges and they hold each other accountable. I love the SSC. Powerful. Meaningful.
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