A few months back, I read a Yahoo! Finance article about the key quality that executives are looking for in their leaders.
Many would have guessed operational excellence, an extraordinary ability to influence, or superior selling skills. However, somewhat surprisingly, “creativity” is cited in this article as the key factor that executives are looking for in their future leaders.
Similar to successful leaders, customer feedback programs too can stand out from the rest if creativity is a part of the plan. Below are the critical elements of a creative leader, and my thoughts on how these same principles can apply to customer feedback strategies.
Disrupt the status quo:
Even if you already have an established, successful customer feedback program in place, take the time to step back and evaluate with a fresh perspective how to more actively engage your customers and your internal stakeholders. If you do not have an existing program or it is not getting the traction it deserves, look for ways to break through the clutter and engage your audiences with new, innovative methods of reaching out and reacting to the information.
Disrupt existing business models:
Many customer feedback programs traditionally reach out to customers one time a year (or every other year) to understand their feelings about the relationship with the company. Then comes the laborious process of filtering through a large quantity of data to identify the key priority areas that will ultimately impact your customer relationships. Why not think of your program as an opportunity to engage your customers year-round to gain real-time insights to allow you to react quickly and effectively, and course correct before it’s too late? Sometimes comfort with existing processes and the fear of the unknown keeps us from making a positive, and sometimes necessary, change.
Disrupt organization paralysis:
Back to the large quantity of data I mentioned above: while it is natural to want to wait until all of the feedback is gathered, analyzed, and wrapped up in a nice package, sometimes there are warning signs that cannot, and should not be ignored. To reap the most reward from the feedback you gather, take steps to initiate action within your organization as quickly as possible. Think of the information as an opportunity to justify positive changes within your organization to enhance customer relationships.
Could your customer feedback strategy benefit from some disruption and creativity?