October 06, 2015
By Hannah Burks

As surveys from your customers or employees begin to pour in, both good and evil reviews join forces to create a bubbling stew of untapped power. Negative feedback can blind your judgement and unearth inner demons by highlighting imperfections that demand your attention.  In the dreadful age of Dark Data, ignoring this trove of first-person accounts is more dangerous than ever. Dive in as soon as possible to reap the benefits of first-hand accounts, however ominous they may seem.

The first step in harnessing the power of customer feedback is to dig your nails into the meat of the matter. To get a more robust understanding of their fears and needs, you can right wrongs from the past, strengthen relationships and develop a deeper understanding of the user’s experience. Don’t be afraid of the information that lies ahead; go forth and discover what can take your process to the next level.

Whether you’re gauging employee satisfaction or filing feedback after an event, remember that each response is useful for improving the way your organization functions and delivers. Avoid an opaque stockpile of data by looking at the results as a direct insight into your user’s mind.  What response was remarkable enough that it surfaced on the survey? Were there any trends in overall experience? How can you turn negative feedback into a catalyst for improvement?

The following list outlines the advantages of facing your fears and using all types of feedback:

  • Better understand the market and its changing demands
  • Show your interest in the client’s experience
  • Develop relationships to build loyalty
  • Fix existing problems retroactively
  • Create a roadmap to implementing solutions
  • Adapt to arising obstacles
  • Prevent future problems

After having answered the chilling questions and trekked up the steps to success, look at what you’ve found. How can you best take advantage of this new insight? Maybe you should tackle the biggest problem first and reap the greatest reward. For example, if customers repeatedly express concern that your hours are not long enough, maybe you should bite the bullet and adjust accordingly. Perhaps the best technique is overcoming small, manageable segments that deal with more malleable problems. Just remember that answering directly to employee, customer, or client’s concerns puts you directly in control of your own success. After the dark feedback rolls in, don’t ignore negativity—use it as fuel.

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