Customer Relations

by Roisin Murray & Wallace Murray

Act on feedback

Some say ‘There is no failure, only feedback’

but ...

only if you listen to it and use it to change your behaviour.

Don’t bother to get feedback unless you want to change. How many people (or organisations) can you think of that dismiss from their minds any feedback that doesn’t suit. There is a denial about the need to change, even in the face of mounting evidence that change is required.

If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.

Do you know any organisations like that? Sure, they may change a bit here and there, or obsess about some aspect of feedback they feel anxious about – maybe rationalise away anything they don’t like. Essentially, though, they keep thinking the same way they always did.

Have you noticed, too, that if they react at all, they seem to work harder at the things that weren’t working? That may seem to make sense – ‘if it’s not working, fix it’ – but is it really the best approach? Do the same thing more, and you just get the same result you always did, but more so. Maybe it would make more sense to identify why things haven’t been working, and do something different instead.


Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment; imagine what you would want to happen as a result of giving feedback.

You may not want to adopt every change every single customer would like. On the other hand, feedback can provide clear indicators as to where to put your efforts for improvement.

Ask yourself:

  • For each aspect of customer relations you have measured, what would make the single biggest difference to that result?
  • Where are the quick wins that would have a high impact and be easily visible to customers?
  • Who can make the difference? How would they need to change their attitude and behaviour to make it happen?
  • Do the systems need to change? How?

Companies that excel in customer relations are willing to learn. They know that systems need to change to meet new demands and challenges. They are agile and flexible in the face of customer feedback.