Companies need to encourage and catalyze positive feedback from customers and clients.
Authentic positive feedback encourages and reinforces outstanding performance, increases employee engagement and bolsters a sense of purpose. This effect is more pronounced when it comes from an outside source. It's possible that there's no more effective mechanism for improving performance.
Soliciting positive feedback has other significant benefits. It:
- helps direct customer attention and awareness towards the positives they encounter
- makes owners and management aware of exceptional performance that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- demonstrates to customers or clients that the company cares about its employees
- expresses positive expectations to both employees and patrons
- creates an objective basis for rewarding employees
For these reasons, companies need to solicit positive feedback in highly visible ways.
Despite the fact that most of us regularly encounter exceptional service, how often do you hear of someone receiving positive feedback from a client or customer? The problem is that, without prompting, many don't think it's important enough or that doing so would be too much bother.
Solve this problem by communicating that positive feedback is important. Solicit it and give clients or customers an easy and obvious way to provide it.
How can you accomplish these simple objectives? A few possibilities include:
- Add an appropriate prompt to your website's home page. For example, "Was someone especially helpful today? Please tell us about your experience."
- Add a similar prompt to cards prominently displayed in your business lobby
- Adding a toll free number specifically for reporting great service
- While encouraging comments, suggestions and feedback that may not be positive is also critical for a business, this information should be solicited through a separate channel. For example, you may have two sets of cards in your lobby. One set might be labeled as suggested above, "Was someone especially helpful? ...", the other might be labeled: "Comments, suggestions or feedback."
- Under no circumstances should a business utilize a feedback channel that implies that they'd like reports of employees misbehaving. While bumper stickers asking "How's my driving" might seem like a good idea how would you feel about having one on your car?
- As with any incentive system, inordinate rewards can lead to unscrupulous individuals trying to game the system. Temper tangible rewards or limit them to private praise or public recognition.
- Insure that the feedback gets to the employee as soon as possible.