Feedback, really?

Be careful what you ask for.

I see, hear and read a great deal about feedback – how to give it, how to receive it and what to do with it, @Georgia Murch wrote a book called “Fixing Feedback”, it is well worthwhile reading.

Unfortunately, if someone is going to ask me for feedback I am genetically predisposed to giving it and it astounds me how defensive organisations are even when specifically asking for it (or least they say they do).

We are all surveyed (for feedback) almost every time we hire a car, use our bank, stay in a hotel etc. – it is becoming difficult because there are so many ways to gather data, consumers don’t feel listened to and have become desensitised.

Having worked in several large companies, I have seen how this feedback is used and being a consumer, I have experienced how ineffective it can be – it is not a pretty picture.
I once a bought a computer online and had no end of trouble with it; in trying to resolve the technical issues the company wanted to know what I wanted and what sort of house I lived in – I couldn’t believe it for a couple of reasons.

Firstly – astounding on so many levels, not least of which if they wanted to know what sort of house I lived in they could have looked it up on the web and seen it, der…….

Secondly – I was quite clear in that all I wanted was what I paid for: a working computer.

Thirdly – most contemptibly, these questions were asked by senior managers who were too gutless to deal with it and left it to their front-line teams to try to resolve – leadership, I don’t think so.

Someone once told me years ago that poor customer service is the norm, using my own buying experience I tend to agree, this is an opportunity for the rest of us to play a bigger game.

As so aptly put by Maya Angelou:

I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.


Charlie Pidcock