Due to some situations I have encountered in the last couple of weeks, I am reminded of the need to make it possible for all customers to be able to provide feedback through some type of mechanism. In our formal research studies, we spend a lot of time talking about who should, and should not, be included. The conversation usually centers around limiting our feedback and improvement dollars to the “best” customers, and only inviting that group to the survey. But what about the other guys, that also have useful feedback that could help us improve.
As an example … On spring break I stayed at a lovely beach hotel. It was a great place, large rooms, wonderful pool/beach setting. However, there were several broken items in the room. They were not large enough to call the desk during my stay, but they were small irritants that should be fixed. Yet, there was not an obvious way for me to let the hotel know about those items. And in my haste to check out I neglected to mention the items, and they did not ask. I am probably not on that hotel’s A-list to be catered to, but it would be helpful to the hotel, and the next guest, to get those items noted and repaired before a long stream of customers have the same annoyance I did.
This serves as a reminder that our customer feedback programs should provide a way for any customer to provide feedback so we can continue to improve our products and services. Do we have a way to get meaningful feedback from our best customers? Do we have an approach to hear about complaints from any customer? Do we have a way to monitor our daily transactions that touch hundreds/thousands of customers daily? Is it clear how any customer can communicate with the company?
While a broken lamp switch is a small thing, if it goes unfixed and multiple hotel guests have the same irritation I did, it it becomes a bigger and bigger issue. If only the hotel had a repair list on the counter that I could have filled out for them …