In marketing, we know that feedback can be extremely valuable. That’s why marketing professionals like myself test and measure everything. It’s too easy to wrongly assume that something is working or under-performing, just based on hunches or ill-informed input.
I was talking to a lady yesterday, who had recently redesigned the window display in her soft furnishings shop. She told me that the day she changed it, several people commented, to say they didn’t like it. One said “it just looks horrible!”
However, she explained that since changing the display, she was attracting considerably more paying customers than before. Had she acted on what those first people told her, she would have quickly gone back to the previous, under-performing window display. Instead, she decided to wait until there was some measurable data and THEN make an informed decision.
Whenever we get verbal or written feedback, it’s important to treat it in the correct context. Here are a few questions I ask myself, before I decide to act, which I would like to share with you:
Is the person commenting from my target market? If not, it could be that their feedback is well-intentioned, but not reflective of what your marketplace thinks, wants or needs.
What is this person’s motive? Why would someone go to the time and effort, to get in touch with you regarding something they like or dislike about your business? There’s ALWAYS a reason! Some are motivated by a desire to help, others by a desire to hinder. Some are motivated by contribution, others by envy. Figure out their motive, then listen to what they are saying in context.
Are they an expert in that field? Never act on expert advice, unless it’s given to you by an expert. There was a guy in our village pub last week, giving the waiter some medical advice. (He’s a retired history teacher with no medical expertise or experience.)