Parallels between gold panning and organizing feedback
I recently attended an exhibition related to Peruvian lifestyle and traditions. As part of the tour, there was a video on gold panning, more commonly known as the process of sifting for gold. This got me thinking about how the steps involved in gold panning are very similar to the stages involved in organizing feedback. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I was able to draw several parallels between the gold panning and customer feedback management process:
Filling your gold pan: Establishing a feedback process
Any good gold panner knows the importance of using the right gold bearing materials and establishing a procedure. This is no exception for customer feedback management. Just like gold panners might use a specific tool like the Garrett Classifier, an organization must have the right set of tools to not only capture and gather customer feedback, but to be able to also interact with, manage and analyze this feedback. Some factors to consider:
– Who will be responsible for customer feedback management?
– How often will we collect customer feedback (hint: the answer is 24/7)
– How will we be notified of new feedback?
– How will we involve the customer in the feedback process?
Finding the best gold panning spots: Capturing feedback
Evidently, you cannot hunt for gold nuggets just anywhere. You can be sure that a gold panning professional has done his research in advance to determine the ideal gold panning locations. Organizations should do their homework too. Today, there are many opportunities for organizations to collect and organize feedback from a multitude of different channels. Therefore, it is imperative to know where your customers are – so you can capture those “golden nuggets” of insight.
Submerging and crushing the gold bearing material: Organizing feedback
This is a crucial stage of the gold panning process where gold panners roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. With their pans deeply submerged under the water, gold panners must carefully work the gold contents with their hands to remove any unwanted material from the rocks. In business, this is called the definition and analysis stage. It is common for many organizations to struggle with this stage. This may be because they do not have the right tools in place to identify and distinguish between actionable feedback and non-actionable feedback. In order to effectively accomplish this you’ll need to establish a definition of actionable feedback and then determine a set of criteria that aligns with this. For instance. feedback is actionable if:
-It aligns with business goals and strategies
-It helps create innovative products or services
-It can be clearly be broken down into actionable steps
Rinse & repeat: Closing the feedback loop
Just like gold panning customer feedback management is a process that should be consistently repeated. With the right set of sophisticated feedback management tools, organization can continually capture feedback from different sources and channels and seamlessly integrate it into the development process
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