My family is anxiously awaiting Spring Break. We began planning our trip in January. We picked our destination, then secured lodging and travel accommodations. Being the structured person that I am, I have carefully planned the weeks leading up to our departure. I established milestones for the tasks that must be accomplished before we can leave. I created a personalized list of items to bring for each family member, ensured that our taxes were filed, and established a plan of attack for making sure all laundry and household chores are completed prior to our departure (it’s hard to beat coming home to a clean house after vacation). In a nutshell, my family things I am a freak! However, you can bet that no one is complaining when we are on the road and nothing has been left behind.
Though some people frown upon having structure, it does have its place. I would argue that in addition to family vacation planning, a structured approach is beneficial in preparing an organization to listen to customer feedback. All too often a customer listening program resides in a corporate department focused solely on gathering information. While this is a critical component, it is also essential that customer facing associates are brought into the loop. There are several reasons why this is beneficial:
- Establishing Account Manager buy-in early on in the process
- Leveraging Account Manager relationships to encourage customer participation (for more ideas on how to increase customer response go to http://blog.walkerinfo.com/blog/walker-information-blog/0/0/whats-lurking-in-your-customer-feedback)
- Preparing Account Managers to receive the information and act upon individual customer feedback – (http://blog.walkerinfo.com/blog/turning-feedback-into-action has more ideas for taking action)
Developing a simple plan early on in a customer feedback program establishes the groundwork for a successful initiative.
Vice President, Consulting Services
PS: By the time you read this, I should be on the beach. Three days before leaving on vacation my upstairs shower leaked through my kitchen ceiling. Resources had to be diverted from packing, etc., to repairing the leak. My kitchen is a mess – house will not be tidy upon arrival home. This emphasizes the importance of being willing to deviate from your plan as necessary!