Have you visited the doctor recently and received a survey afterwards asking you how your appointment went? It seems like I receive surveys a few times per week. If I have the time, I like to fill these out to give the organization or individual some feedback. If I’ve had a bad experience, my hope is that the organization takes a look at what I’ve had to say. If I’ve had a great experience, I want to make sure that the organization is aware that they’re doing a good job.
The thing about feedback is that I think we sometimes fear it because we aren’t sure what that feedback will be. I remember being a 22 year old first time employee and receiving feedback from my boss about a communication I had put together. For some reason I went into the meeting fearing the worst. I think most of us immediately go that route in our brain—oh, they’re going to rip apart my idea, oh, it’s not good enough. Why do we assume that feedback is negative? Sure, it can be, but a lot of times, feedback can also be positive. Turns out in this case, the communication hit the mark and my boss wanted to make sure I knew that. Being 22 at the time, this feedback gave me some extra confidence.
So, what does feedback have to do with social media or the work that you do? Feedback from your customers could help you move forward with your business. Let’s say you’re consistently hearing that your customers would love to see another location on the West side of town. As a result of this feedback, you start scouting new locations. Would you have made this move without this particular feedback? You might not have.
My personal experience with feedback is that it usually leads to growth opportunities. When I receive feedback, I usually ask myself how I can learn from it. If my communication isn’t meeting the mark this time, what can I do to help make sure it does the next time around?
So, what are some ways you can measure feedback and use it to your advantage?
1) Acquire feedback through different tools.
Survey Monkey, Twitter polls and customer reviews via websites are a few options. Keep in mind that you may want to be strategic about how often you use these tools and which ones you use. If you decide to go the survey route, pay special attention to the amount of questions and time it would take the recipient to complete the survey. Don’t just send a survey just to send one. Be thoughtful and intentional.
2) Take your feedback results to heart. Let’s be honest, negative feedback can be difficult to take. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes or your colleagues’ shoes. Try and see things from their perspective. You may not agree with the feedback, but focus on what you can do to make things better moving forward. Leaving your ego at the door goes a long way.
3) Incorporate feedback into your long-term strategy. It’s ok to send a survey periodically to obtain some feedback, but give some thought as to how feedback fits into your strategic plan. Schedule strategy sessions (include someone from leadership if possible)and make a commitment to incorporating feedback. Feedback is an ongoing thing. You could send some surveys, meet afterward to go through the results and then be done. But you’d be missing the point. When used effectively, feedback can be a significant component of an organization’s strategy and vision.
We’d love to hear ways you’ve incorporated feedback into your organization. Tell us below.
Author: Amy Berger
Amy Berger is a corporate communications writer based in Minnesota. Previously, she spent over ten years working for state and federal government and brings a unique perspective of how best to utilize communication methods. She’s a big believer in evaluating communications strategies on a regular basis and finding new ways to deliver information. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gustavus Adophus College and a Master’s in Business Administration from the College of Saint Scholastica.
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