Thursday, July 26, 2007

Should You Listen?

David Freedman writes an excellent article in Inc Magazine about listening to customer feedback. He talks about several companies who have various feedback methods, but choose to ignore some of the complaints. In light of certain companies "firing" customers lately, this article doesn't necessarily suggest going that far, but it does say take the feedback with a grain of salt. Is this person just the squeaky wheel? Would fixing their complaint change your core product or service?

This can be true for membership organizations. I remember getting blasted by a member because we sent out a CD with an auto-run feature that apparently isn't liked by Macs. It can still work though. This avid Mac user went ballistic in an email. Turns out he wasn't even a good fit for our association. I looked at our market research and found that only a few percent even used Macs. He didn't renew the next year, but that wasn't a surprise. One complaint in 5,000 shipped discs.

On the surface, it is easy to say that you wouldn't have changed your process for 1 complaint in 5,000. But, how many times do we knee jerk into fixing things that maybe aren't really broken? Maybe one person sees it as broken, but they really just need glasses.

No comments: