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Strategic Discipline Blog

Winter's Lesson on Customer & Employee Feedback

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Feb 3, 2011

Ten to twelve inches or more of snow fell throughout the Midwest yesterday.  As I pulled and pulled on my snow blower to get it restarted I was reminded of the importance of customer and employee feedback which is a staple of our weekly meeting rhythms.  Had I paid attention to my own discovery during the last snow fall I wouldn’t have been stuck having to remove a foot of snow from more than half my driveway and sidewalk yesterday morning.  Why hadn’t I paid heed when my snow blower stopped several times when I last used it?

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Pattern Recognition is one reason we recommend weekly meeting rhythms.  The information you receive from your team during the customer and employee feedback can be critical in preventing large and small crisis.  When do you want to find out about a problem?   It does no good to discover you should have fixed your snow blower when you have 12 inches of snow to remove!

Employee and customer issues often start as small smoldering incidents.  A customer complaint, an employee getting upset over something that appears trivial.  You may not always spot the cause immediately, yet after repeated comments from your staff, the repetition will cause you to act.  You’ll begin to see the patterns emerge with the frequency.  It’s important that you maintain your weekly meetings otherwise you won’t get the necessary repetition nor the picture as it emerges.  If you meet once a month or once a quarter, these patterns aren’t noticed.  The result, a customer or employee problem is out of control or beyond repair, causing you unnecessary grief.

Weekly meetings are often seen as unnecessary or redundant.  Why do we need to meet so frequently is often the question? 

Getting caught with a situation similar to my snow blower that didn’t work when you have 12 inches of snow will immediately convince you that being prepared, carefully tuning in and observing the patterns that occur in your weekly meetings are the surest way to prevent being reactive.   Following the weekly meeting agenda you can confidently be proactive with most of the major challenges you will face.   Email me at dwick@positioningsystems.com if you’d like a copy of the weekly meeting agenda.  

Topics: Customer Feedback, Employee Feedback, weekly meetings, meeting rhythms, pattern recognition

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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