Last week I happened to visit a hospital’s waiting room. The TV was not working there. Everybody in the room was clueless about whom to contact. It seems to lie outside everyone’s domain of responsibility. Nurses, housekeeping staff, electricians, et al were either nonchalant or busy with their daily chores. How great it would have been if some trigger\feedback was sent to maintenance folks automatically!
Feedback is necessary and does add value. Whether we act on received feedback or not but one should actively seek feedback so that we are aware of diverse opinions. We generally tend to leave it to people (either our customers or clients) to give feedback. But as nearly all of us are in a crunch of time not many people take out time to give feedback. People are more inclined in finding other options than mending the existing option. We can’t depend entirely on the willingness of people to get feedback.
Create processes that either automate feedback capture or prod people to give feedback. When an ATM machine stops working, some trigger should tell maintenance folks to act on it. Historic trends (per hour or, better, every ten minutes) can be collected for every machine based on its usage. Once that’s historic usage trend is violated, the system should flag that as a discrepancy and highlight this to maintenance folks. They can validate whether it’s a real discrepancy or just a blip. It will lead to decreased maintenance turnaround time and will lead to increased availability of machines hence enhanced customer experience. For how long banks will depend on a security guard at the ATM or an unhappy customer to report that the ATM is malfunctioning?
Any machine that can capture data should be used as a feedback mechanism. The machines that don’t capture data should be modified to capture data and send it to the right people.
If you are dealing with people, don’t rely on people proactively giving feedback. Make processes so that process prods people to give feedback. Like, don’t let your waiters decide whether to take feedback from customers or not. They might shirk their responsibility many times. Make it a process that every time some customer is billed, the waiter has to mandatorily collect feedback while giving the bill to the customer.
The right interpretation of feedback is also very important. Sometimes if you coerce people into giving feedback they won’t tell you the right thing but they will tell you the thing that is easiest/fastest for them. So do give leeway to people whether they want to give feedback or not. Always look for dissenters\outliers while analyzing feedback. Dissenters are the folks who will give you different feedback. Whatever that may be right or wrong, you will get different feedback from dissenters. In this world of ‘schedule adherers’ or ‘people blabbering niceties’ or ‘intentionally vague people’ dissenters are a rare breed so they must be appreciated for their thinking.
Actively collect feedback, improve, collect feedback, improve……..
PS: This post was originally posted on hoodasaurabh.blogspot.com