Do You Know When to Ignore Customer Feedback?

While giving a speech to a group of association executives yesterday, I told them that there were only three factors in determining whether or not to act on customer (member) feedback. Those factors are impact, alignment, and feasibility.

Organizations are being given constant feedback through a variety of channels and I wanted to provide a framework to help determine what feedback to act upon and what feedback to ignore.

Impact means that acting upon the feedback will provide a benefit to your organization. That benefit can be financial or increase your reputation, or help you attract and retain customers.

Alignment means that acting on the feedback will align with your overall corporate strategy. It will help you move closer to your ideal future state.

Feasibility means that it is actually possible to act upon the feedback.

Only when all three of these factors are present, does it makes sense to act upon customer feedback. See the visual below to help explain why.


If acting upon the feedback is feasible and can have an impact, but doesn’t align with your corporate direction, then you are taking a wrong turn.

If acting upon the feedback can have an impact and aligns with your corporate direction, but isn’t feasible, then it’s a pipe dream

If acting upon the feedback is feasible and aligns with your corporate direction, but will have no impact, you are wasting resources.

When you have all three, it is a game changer.

Do you know when to act upon customer feedback and when to ignore it?

Three Reasons Why Your Customer Conversion Rate is Low

When it comes to converting prospective customers to paying customers, many organizations have a very low conversion rate. Here are three reasons why:

  1. They think all business is good business. Organizations need to determine who their ideal customer is and develop strategies to acquire them. It’s also important to stratify existing customers so you know where the best opportunities are. Most organizations put effort behind pursuing and retaining the wrong customers.
  2. They don’t take the time to find out what the customer is trying to accomplish. Many organizations are so in love with their own products that they sell the features and benefits of those products, regardless of what the customer really needs. The most successful companies find out what customers want to achieve and develop solutions to help them.
  3. Too many people are involved and not all of them add value to the relationship. We have sales reps and account managers and subject matter experts, so it is often unclear who is accountable for the relationship. There are also many situations where one or more of these roles become order takers, not actually adding any value. If any of these front line people are not helping to acquire or retain customers, why are they involved?

Resource productivity – what does that even mean?

I recently read an article from McKinsey mentioning that manufacturing organizations need to focus on resource productivity in order to be successful. They need to think lean, and all of that other stuff that we always hear about. That is a very tactical way of thinking and only applies to the manufacturing processes themselves. Of course manufacturers need to maximize the outcomes they produce through manufacturing, but the organizations themselves need to think differently.

They need to look at the market and their customers and determine what needs are not being met. They need to look at any additional services they can offer that would be of value to customers. They need to change the mindset of the organization to focus on operational excellence at all levels of the organization. They need to empower front line people to not only improve the current way they operate, but also suggest new ways of operating to increase profit.

The limitation with most manufacturing organizations is that they often only try to do what they are currently doing, only more efficiently. They look at manufacturing metrics, but not necessarily financial ones. Many don’t look at what else they could be doing. They still use the same approaches and methodologies they have been using for 30 years and wonder why they are struggling.

The question manufacturing organizations should be asking themselves is, “What opportunity am I not currently taking advantage of and how do we maximize outcomes from that opportunity?”

Podcast: The Future of Operational Excellence in Healthcare

In my latest podcast, The Future of Operational Excellence in Healthcare, I talk about three themes that organizations need to master in order to be successful in the healthcare industry and I provide you with some practical strategies you can employ.

The three key themes are:

  1. Innovation – It’s not just about coming up with new ideas, the future of excellence is in the ability to apply and adopt new ideas to maximize results by managing the innovative process.
  2. Collaboration – Collaboration is a means to an end and organizations need to focus on the outcomes they want to achieve and then effectively collaborate to help achieve them.
  3. Performance – The most successful organizations are able to identify money and performance boosts in areas that others don’t normally look.

I invite you take a listen and comment here on your thoughts on the future of operational excellence in healthcare.



Even McDonald’s Can Fall Prey to Poor Product Expansion

McDonald’s has always been an iconic company not only for its brand, but also the way it operates. Recently, McDonald’s has expanded its menu based on the different tastes of its customers. But it may have fallen prey to its desire to expand its customer base. Service has become slower, customers are more frustrated, and sales are not going up.

McDonald’s quickly realized that they changed the menu without changing the way they operate. It shows us that even the best companies in the world can make mistakes. But, as great companies do, McDonald’s has identified the issue and is taking steps to remedy it.

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