First, a couple of key points about feedback.
§ Most people tell you what they think you want to hear because either they dont know how to provide feedback, or they arent comfortable providing feedback.
§ There is no universal TRUTH - We all have our own version of the truth what is true for me may be different than what is true for you. There are facts and data but in reality truth is in the eyes of the beholder.
If you agree with these points then its probably safe to assume that you understand the value of knowing what people are thinking AKA getting feedback.
On the flip side, there is probably a little part of you wincing at the mere thought of hearing something less than wonderful. Its sort of like sitting in the dentists chair through a root canal. You know that when its over youll feel better, but the thought of sitting through the needles and drilling is dreadful.
Heres one way to receive feedback the easy way.
Lets assume for a moment that youre responsible for managing the IT Help Line in your company. What you know for sure is that the competition is stiff. There are hundreds of little IT support businesses out there that would love to convince your company to outsource to them. You know in your heart that theres a good chance your company could save some significant money through outsourcing. Your ultimate goal is make sure that your company is getting the best return on investment possible.
One of your strategies is to collect information from your users at least every quarter. After all, the satisfaction of your users is an important factor in the success of your department. You want to know everything theyre saying about the help line because chances are, theyre telling plenty of other people about their experiences. So its in your best interest to uncover as much as you can. You want the good, the bad and the ugly.
This is a bit of what you learned in your last survey:
§ 75% of the users responded to your survey
§ 50% of those who responded said that their issue was resolved in the first call
§ 25% of those who responded said that their issue required 2 3 calls
§ 25% of those who responded said that their issue is still unsolved
Now that you have the information you can decide what to do with it. You decide how to react or respond. Which response would you be inclined to choose?
§ This is ridiculous! Something must be wrong with this data. The surveys have never shown 25% of the issues still unsolved!
§ Hmmm lets take compare it to the last survey and take a look at the tech support database and see if we can learn more about what might be going on.
§ We know our users have been frustrated by the new software install. Lets just file this away and see what the next one shows.
The beauty of collecting the information (getting feedback) is that you know more than you did before, and you can choose to act on it or default and do nothing. It puts you in the drivers seat. Information gives you power feedback gives you power.
So the easiest way to receive feedback is to look at it as an information collection process. And thats what youre doing collecting information that you can use to take charge of your future.