In practically every organisation I visit, I observe a feedback deficit. People aren’t receiving the feedback they require. Even when management ask staff for feedback, all too often nothing comes back. For staff, this results in a perception of a lack of empowerment (“nothing I do makes a difference anyway”). Just as bad is the lack of feedback responding to customers. I wrote last week to F&P’s customer care centre to communicate my annoyance at the delay in getting my appliance fixed (given this was the second problem in less than a month. Love the appliance when it works, problem is that this is somewhat infrequent). As of 5 days later, no response. My feedback has been lost in the organisational black hole. The effect? As a customer, I now perceive the customer care (customer ignore?) centre really isn’t about caring for customers and since I have already bought the appliance there is absolutely no urgency to deal with me. You do an awful lot of harm if you actively solicit feedback, then completely ignore it – better off not even to ask for it.
So then, if you want to dramatically improve your staff’s performance and your customers’ loyalty, don’t just solicit feedback, actually listen and respond to it.