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If there’s no thermometer, does that mean there’s no fever?

Many people have had their mom, a grandma or someone put their hand on your forehead to detect a fever.

Despite “Doctor Mom” having no digital measuring device in her hand, she can still tell if you’re running a fever.

Maybe she can’t say that the fever is 102.372 Fahrenheit, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t sick.

Measurement matters

Many times we’ve talked here about the importance of measuring results, whether they are marketing, operational, people or otherwise.  I’ve told you NOT to guess about the results of testing an ad’s (or a media’s) performance.

That’s all well and good when it works.

When the ad doesn’t work, no measurement is needed.

The phone doesn’t ring. The email doesn’t fill up. The website e-commerce store doesn’t jingle with new orders. In the case of mom and the feverish forehead, her hand never gets close enough the feel the heat.

Trouble is, you’re still sick.

Feedback works the same way

The same goes when you aren’t getting feedback from your customers. If you aren’t, or if it’s all the same – you really need to look hard at the reasons for that.

Have you ignored their feedback in the past?

If so, the lack of quality feedback (or *any* feedback) at this time might not be the good sign for your products and services. It might mean that they just don’t think there’s any reason to bother telling you anything.

Or it might mean they don’t care anymore.

Often it can mean that there is an operational or logical problem in your feedback gathering, response *and* (this is the critical one) follow-up processes.

Taking a pulse

If I went down through your customer list, could you and your staff recall your last interaction with a reasonable number of them? Could they tell me which ones are difficult / challenging and which ones are lovely or fun to work with?

Could they relate with any accuracy the last communication they had with them?

Is there a pulse? You’d better know, without putting your fingers on your business’ carotid.

3 replies on “If there’s no thermometer, does that mean there’s no fever?”

Very good post! Another key component of effectively gathering and utilizing feedback is having a plan as to what you will do about what you hear. For example, if customers tell you prices are too high, are you really willing to do something about it (may not necessarily involve cutting prices, but understanding how better to create more value)? Customers also get upset when they provide feedback, and see no action taken, so the first step is to have solid strategies already developed for each hypothetical response you’ll get.

That last part is exactly one of the issues Im speaking to – no process in place to deal with feedback, or no response regardless of whether there is a process or not:(

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