I don’t have a lot today. It’s been a very emotional week in many ways. Because I’m an oversharer you will hear about it eventually. I can’t promise it won’t come as twaddle but it will be cathartic for me.
To say or not to say – I’m old school. When I’m not happy I prefer to give feedback. A business can’t fix something if they don’t know it’s broke. I also don’t like to hide behind an anonymous on-line review. I like them to know who I am so they can ask follow-up questions (or put me on a black list).
I try to give solid suggestions for improvement. Doing this without obscenities, accusations or sarcasm works best. This comes from over 40 years working in the business world. I’ve had my share of snarky one-liners flung at me like cow dung. They never help.
In one situation I wrote an old school letter which I mailed by snail mail. There wasn’t a satisfactory email option on their website that assured me it would go to the right person. It was worth the trouble as I want the business to survive and grow. They are nearby and offer a service I occasionally need.
The second situation received on-line feedback. It was a very positive experience where the staff went way above and beyond. I know it will be printed, copied and circulated among the staff. There is nothing more important than sending a “feel good” letter to brighten someone’s day. Also, you want to reinforce positive behavior.
For the last feedback situation, I chose a face-to-face discussion. There is nothing like looking someone in the eye for communication. I fear this art is lost these days. It’s very effective. Unfortunately this was a negative one but it was quickly resolved as soon as they knew about it. Lickety split as I like to say.
Negative feedback isn’t any easier for me. It comprised a good part of my job for many years. I learned to say the truth as articulately as possible. Keep to the facts in an even voice. Keep emotion and non-essentials (like you are really stupid) out of it. Delivery is always key. And speed. Do it as soon as you can and as quickly as you can otherwise you agonize too much. You get better at it with experience.
I only do feedback for things that matter to me. There are many times it’s easier to stop patronizing a business. Sometimes the things that annoy cannot be fixed like an overly noisy restaurant or bad food. I’ve switched doctors because of their staff. There are alternative options but giving feedback is always a good one.
How about you? Feedback or beat feet?
Here’s hoping this coming week will be more peaceful and non-confrontational.