Growing up in the 80’s, it probably comes as little surprise that one of my favorite movie trilogies is ‘Back to the Future’ – or maybe you thought I’d say ‘Star Wars’?
Truthfully, whether it’s the music from the Huey Lewis & the News, the Delorean or even Chuck Berry discovering rock & roll or the clock tower lightning rod, it all makes me smile to this day. However, looking back, what I think really grabbed me about these films is the theme of Marty McFly and Doc Brown wavering and struggling with the notion of protecting or influencing (destroying?) their future. They obviously knew what they valued about their lives today, and were cautious about how the information they learned and situations they were exposed to were used (and misused) to influence the future, but despite their best intentions, even they were tempted by what they wanted for their future.
So, perhaps you’re thinking, what does Back to the Future have to do with customer feedback? Hello! McFly!! Those of us who get to see customer feedback turned into action know that each of these topics requires a vision for how we want the future to be, and demanded proper planning and pinpoint execution to give ourselves the best chance to achieve that vision.
Think about it. Would Marty have gone to such extremes to ensure that his father stood up to Biff, while winning the girl, if the personal stakes for him weren’t so high? In fact, because of Marty’s involvement in the future of his parents budding but awkward relationship, he ended up making life better for everyone (well, except for Biff) 30 years in the future.
Great Scott!! That’s exactly what we’re trying to do with customer feedback. It essentially helps us write the future. Without customer feedback, we’d be left to our own devices, making changes that we ‘think’ are right. Properly gathered customer feedback gives us the confidence that changes we make will be recognized by customers as valuable enhancements to relationships, and will lead to greater trust and a long term sense of partnership.
As Doc Brown said at the end of the first Back to the Future: “Where we’re going we don’t need roads” From my perch, I couldn’t agree more; we just need feedback!
Vice President, Client Services
PS. If you’re also a fan of the Back to the Future films and are interested in seeing how well they actually predicted life in today’s world (actually in 2015), click here for some fun tidbits.
Image copyright Universal Studios.