Friday, 23 August 2013

If you’re asking for feedback in the wrong way – you’ve nothing good to say about yourself.

On a recent commute to London I fancied a cuppa and a snack whilst awaiting the train. It’s transaction that must happen thousands of times a day across platform kiosks of the UK. I was told the following “if I give feedback about the service I could win an IPAD” (see below).


This was on my mind nearly all day.  Brilliant customer service should be that good it doesn’t need attention drawn to it. But this request and card combination is like a needy comedian. Don’t tell me you’re funny, make me laugh. It reminded me of the time I opened an account with HSBC and at the end of the hour or so to do so in branch, the young banker teller mentioned a feedback form would be on its way and he’d be grateful if I’d complete it as it helped the branch and him etc.  Had he NOT mentioned it – I’d be more likely to do so.

I’m sure there is some clever psychological principle behind all this associated with influence and behaviour and I’d appreciate anyone letting me know what it is. For me right now the advice is this: Don’t draw attention to something you want from people as a request to action. Your ‘attention grabbing/request’ becomes the behaviour of note and not the focus of the very thing you want apprising. For the station café, concentrate on making brilliant coffee, developing banter with the commuters and getting some energy into your café.  This will get more feedback and love for you than your IPAD raffle (which essentially it is). Similarly for you dear reader, if there is something you want from someone, have an attitude and behaviour about DOING not BEING. Too much of our time and effort is about our ambitions and wishes. Stick to what you know, do it well and fall in love with it.  THAT is what people will love you for.  If you’re asking for feedback in the wrong way – you’ve nothing good to say about yourself.