I recently read “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive” by Goldstein, Martin, and Cialdini and found a passage that reinforces the fact that most companies don’t do enough to gain input and feedback from customers or employees. The passage in the book is on pages 102 – 103 and discusses NASA’s investigation after the Columbia space shuttle disaster.
Investigator: As a manager, how do you seek out dissenting opinion?
Chairwoman: Well, when we hear about them…
Investigator: By their very nature, you may not have heard about them…what techniques do you use to get them?
The chairwoman had no answer.
How many companies fail to realize that if they are not actively seeking out feedback and complaints and capturing it for analysis that they are probably missing the biggest part of that information. The times that this information is volunteered are far outnumbered by the times that it is retained by the customer or employee. When it is retained it can do nothing but fester.