PMI Bangalore Chapter

PM Article – Bad experiences teach us more than Good Ones

Bad experiences teach us more than Good Ones

– Balaji Rajagopalan


I recently visited a grocery retail outlet near my house for grabbing a few bytes.

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At the Point of Sale (POS) counter was kept a small device for the customer to share their feedback on the day’s shopping experience. I was not clear if the device was working or it is just a display piece. I asked the cashier and there was no reply from her side. I assumed it was a display piece. What happened next was very interesting – the cashier after finishing my billing pressed the button “Great” in the feedback device. I was stunned! I thought the device was not working. I asked her why did she not allow me to give the feedback for which she did not reply. I felt cheated. I went to the corner of the store near the exit and started observing the cashier. After every transaction she was pressing the button “Great” as if to convey every customer had a great shopping experience. I could not control my anger and had a conversation with the lady who was least worried about this feedback tool. I left the store wondering what will the management believe by looking at this

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data! This one bad experience opened my eyes and made me think on what a good feedback mechanism should do.

Take Feedback the Right Way

• Take feedback from the people who matter – your customers! Sounds funny but I have seen feedback being taken from people who do not matter. Focus on the primary users and not anyone else.

• Feedback should be fool proof – there should be no opportunity for anyone to tamper with the feedback.

• As much as possible the feedback should be digital – In the above example the feedback could be taken via the persons mobile.

• Look for patterns in the results – patterns help in understanding if there is a tampering of the feedback happening. Continuous 5/5 ratings does not mean we have a great product it could mean compromise on the data.

• Make the employees (of the product team) understand the power and importance of the feedback. Bad feedback allows us to correct our mistakes, continue doing what the users like and come up with something new.

• Observe how many users give feedback. Less number of feedback could mean something is wrong either with the product or with the feedback survey itself.

• Focus on opportunities – Ask the users for ideas to improve the services or product as part of the feedback.

• Don’t just rely on feedback also use Analytics such as google analytics, hotjar and other tools to understand user behavior. After all there is always a gap between what people tell and what people do.

To conclude quality feedback is the best tool that helps correct our mistakes. Hence, focus should be to get quality feedback. A good practice of collecting quality feedback – as long as this practice is in place, we can sustain ourselves in the business!