Category Archives: #ThursdayThought
Have you ever filled out a customer survey and felt like the company didn’t ask the right questions?
It’s because the company only cared to ask the questions they wanted to ask.
This may or may not be wrong.
Sometimes companies need to ask certain questions because they’re lagging behind in certain metrics or have an initiative to improve on the areas they posed in their questionnaire.
But many times companies just ask questions they know will be scored positively. That way they can brag to shareholders and the public of how great they fare in those areas.
Either way, these surveys are not built to truly get the open feedback of their customers.
They are built to get pre-determined outcomes. And that leave out the customer voice almost in it’s entirety.
Better yet are those surveys that ask open ended – not ranked, not multiple choice questions. That allows customers – and employees if the surveys are employee facing – to truly express their praise or concerns.
You get what you measure. A company that stacks the deck only shortchanges itself.
Every customer touchpoint – both external and internal customers – should always be an opportunity for people to voice their true feelings. It’s the starting point for true connection and success.
I had a doctor years ago who (without violating HIPAA) took a few minutes to vent and talk about a patient who wouldn’t follow his medical advice and despite what test results showed, refused to comply and had continued health issues.
Then my doctor told me the patient was blaming the doctor for his worsening health.
All because the patient wasn’t willing to do their part.
Think about the customer who wants a full refund due to gross misuse of a product or service, through absolutely no fault of the company or its employees whatsoever.
Customers, clients and patients are not always right, despite the old cliche “The Customer is Always Right”
When the customer is right at all costs, everybody loses. Employees get frustrated, customers exhaust profitable company resources, and culture becomes toxic as leadership insists that the customer is always right, because sales is the ultimate pursuit at all costs.
This short sighted and outdated notion that the customer is always right leads to employee disengagement, increased healthcare costs, customer entitlement which leads to abuse and ultimately a negative return on profits that need to be made up elsewhere (and thus leading to more pressure in a toxic “customer first” culture.)
Employees who don’t get a say and get exasperated from customers (“who are always right in spite of what the front line employee knows”) soon get “managed out” unless they’re able to leave before that occurs. Either ways it’s a tragic misuse of the real people who make or break any business – the employees.
So why do many companies fail in this knowledge while others – such as The Home Depot and REI – know that their employee culture first and have the financial success to prove this model?
Because, as Simon Sinek indicates, those companies focus on results over process. If the metrics and bonuses were tied to the process, the transformation would be remarkably positive across all measures.
While we want every customer, we don’t need every customer. Your culture and leadership might just be telling your employees you both don’t want them and need them.
Leaders in organizations need to get this right, to get their employees right. Then you’ll have the right customer – the one who is truly right – in fact and fit.
A colleague asked me how they can get better in their critical thinking skills.
Almost immediately I responded with these two strategies:
Learning is being willing to understand what you don’t know, and not pretending to know everything.
Discerning is being able to STOP and THINK about why something exists, rather than take things at face value or dismissing it altogether.
A great example of learning is our current medical professionals. They are working so hard to understand the current Covid-19 virus which is testing everything they know about virology, biology and psychology. And when/if the current vaccines prove effective and successful, there will be more to learn an the after-effects for decades to come.
An example of discerning is the training a correctional officer in a prison receives. They are trained to prevent distractions and being set up in such a way that when an inmate confronts them with an “urgent: matter or request, they stop and think about the situation around them and ensure they ascertain the facts before proceeding forward with any action.
Critical thinkers do this well. Their continued learning allows them to be more discerning and vice versa. And the simple action of stopping and really thinking through all the possibilities that something could be true or not before deciding if it is creates a separation of truly critical thinkers.
Critical thinking is not dissing any idea you don’t come up with. It’s the true measure of being wise, growing, and truly respectful of the input around you.
Make an effort to learn and discern all the time.