With lockdown meaning the temporary loss of my commute, and my virtual classroom sessions being no more than 3.5hrs at a time, I have found myself with some extra time on my hands. So I decided to use some of it to do an experiment in feedback.
The idea came because I recently delivered a course for The Hub Events and they collect post course feedback on Trustpilot. After my course I was blown away by how many participants took the time to share their feedback. My reaction to it also surprised me – it absolutely made my week, gave me new ideas and tweaks and improvements to make things even better. And so I decided to pay it forward.
I committed for a week to respond to every single request for feedback that I got.
I mean every single one – and there were many. Honestly, every time you buy something it feels like you get a request through and I largely ignore them thinking I don’t have the time. In addition, everywhere I felt some feedback was warranted even if it wasn’t specifically asked for – I gave it.
And some amazing things happened in that week. I had people writing back thanking me for the feedback (even where it was developmental) – and even a voicenote. I got 2 requests to do video testimonials as a follow up to my written feedback – and in the spirit of the exercise I absolutely did. I even got a voucher for £10 off an order, and 20% off some baby clothes as a thank you! And one day I was scrolling Instagram and my feedback was a on a post from one of my favourite brands.
Here are the top 4 things that stood out for me across the week:
- Feedback is powerful
We don’t always understand the impact that a small piece of feedback or rating has. As part of the exercise, I listened to a podcast and left some feedback afterwards and the podcaster wrote this to me “Apple ranks podcasts higher that have more reviews. Your leaving a review means I can continue to help you and MANY MORE women out there, and helps us spread the word.” – I had no idea I was doing all of this when I gave the feedback. I was just sharing my thoughts. But when you think about it, our reviews affect search results which affect sales. Our feedback is very powerful. We should really commit to giving more of it, which brings me to my next point.
- Private feedback can be just as powerful as public feedback
A company I shop from regularly had a little mix-up in my week of feedback. Now they are normally awesome. So when the link came to give public feedback on that order, I deleted it and wrote the company an e-mail instead basically saying “You guys are wonderful, but sadly this thing happened and I’d like to bring it to your attention offline and not affect your wonderful online feedback.” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes negative feedback does need to be given publicly to warn other buyers or where something significant went wrong. But it’s great to take a step back before you become a keyboard warrior and just assess whether or not the feedback really does need to be given publicly or could be given directly. Like I said above, feedback has the power to greatly affect a company – so use your power wisely.
- We have to make feedback easy to give
I found myself sighing and rolling my eyes if I had to log in somewhere or do extra steps to give feedback. It made me want to quit and move on to the next request. Even when I did do it, I was thinking “Never doing this again!”. But where within the email you could just click the stars and then write something it was so quick and easy, it took no time at all and I’d happily do it again. Someone is already giving you their time when giving feedback. Why not make it even easier for them to do so instead of risking losing them in the process?
- Acknowledging feedback is important
I now feel that I have a relationship with the people and brands who responded to my feedback. When I need those things again, I will definitely go there first. Some of the responses I got back were so warm and genuine – a lesson in awesome customer service. Even a “like” of a feedback comment on Facebook can be enough to make a customer feel heard … but a like and a positive comment really seals the deal.
So, am I going to keep giving feedback to EVERYONE going forward? Hmmmm … maybe not. But I am definitely going to try harder at it in general, especially ones that I know from experience are quick and easy to give. And where someone goes the extra mile or delivers something exceptional – look for me in the comments!