Customer Feedback: Understanding Psychology
No matter what your role is in a company, you either elicit or provide feedback. However, I think a lot of people see customer feedback loops as a door that they’re afraid to check out. When I was a child, I was extremely afraid of the dark and thought there were monsters just lying everywhere. I was afraid to open the door and see what was there before I went to bed at night. So, I think a lot of people approach feedback like that.
You’ve been giving and getting feedback throughout your lives. But I want to shine a light on what’s in the closet. I want to examine the what, the why, and the how concerning feedback. Feedback is a word that’s only been around since post-World War 2, but the concept has been around for ages.
Now, I want you to feel what it feels like when somebody says – “can I give you feedback?” Some of us get that guttural reaction. You want to know who is giving you feedback, on what and how are they giving feedback. Especially if you don’t have context, you can kind of feel your gut clench up.
Psychology Behind Feedback
There’s actually some psychology that’s employed here with the types of feedback. In fact, our brain reacts to negative and positive stimuli in different ways. So, if you give somebody positive feedback, you actually open them up to hear more negative feedback. It’s interesting. A lot of people say don’t pay attention to positive feedback. However, they should listen to it because they’d know what’s working.
The negative feedback actually stimulates another part of you which is more the flight or fight response. You can also feel some reticence, some hesitance, and you might actually feel attacked. So, both of these bring up some emotions that are positive and negative. Therefore, in order to know how to interact with customers and recognize and provide good feedback, we need to know what good feedback looks like.
In order to provide good feedback, I like to provide three strengths concerning the person’s action. Then, I follow with one opportunity to point out something the person could improve on or fix.
That’s a much more succinct way versus just positive, negative or no feedback because that’s more actionable.
Various Types of Feedback
Here are the different types of feedback in the world:
In user-facing or customer-facing feedback, you want to look at actionable or vanity feedback respectively. Vanity feedback is nice as it gets you to ask why certain trends suddenly spiked. However, it’s much more interesting to get actionable feedback. This way you can find out the cost of products and CAC. In general, when you engage your users you need to think about how you’re asking the question and how you’re listening to the answer.
About the speaker
Anne Retterer is the Founder and CEO of Mindspand - an online community that enables organizations to list course offerings and provide access to services for local customers. Prior to starting Mindspand, Anne managed the product portfolio at Expedia and established an investment fund for tech companies in Chile with Hambrecht & Quest (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.). Anne holds an MBA from UC Davis and currently lives in Seattle.
About the host
I believe in our ability as humans to solve problems in creative and simple ways. I’ve had the good fortune to work on and with some of the brightest and most creative teams and people in various roles in product development. These experiences have enriched me personally and I carry them with me to every new challenge. I like big problems that have beautiful and simple solutions. I’ve worked on financial products for people of fixed income, products that bridge humans across the planet in moments of their greatest need to connect as well as tools that disambiguate, equalize and democratize access to data and content. The companies I’ve worked with range from startups to large public companies where chiefly my role has been about unlocking and connecting customer unmet needs to the people engineering and designing the products. I enjoy playing many roles and leverage the tools and resources at hand to bring products to market. I’ve direct experience when and how to deploy artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced cognitive services. My patents cover areas in video and conversational interfaces, platform extensibility, mobile applications, and large scale software. Following to be read by computers, not humans: Interests include: Human rights, feminism. food and farming sustainability, Non-Profits, product management, information retrieval, UX Design, future-of-work, artificial intelligence, machine learning, communications, virtual assistants, digital media, branding.