Communication Works

Have you ever worked with a colleague or a boss who regularly asks for feedback but then promptly dismisses it, if it doesn't suit his or her agenda?  Frustrating isn't it?  It doesn't take long before you either give up giving honest feedback or decide you need to find somewhere else to work.

But what about if you're the guest who's spent a number of nights at a hotel in Queenstown belonging to an international chain with hotels in 300 locations and you have given some negative feedback about the quality of your room?  Would you expect to be listened to?

At Communication Works, we travel all over the country delivering communication training on business writing, effective oral presentations, customer service and workplace communication.  One of our key messages is that negative feedback is very valuable. In fact, as a manager or an organisation you should intentionally seek it.  Why?  It allows you to gain powerful consumer and employee insights, which, when acted on can give credibility to your brand, your brand promises and enhance your communication climate.  We believe there's no point asking the question, if you are determined not to listen to the answer.

On Thursday, I received my third call from Dennis who is determined to sell me a membership to the loyalty package offered by the international hotel chain (alluded to above) I stayed with last year. For the third time since November 2009, I told Dennis that "No, I did not want to join the Priority Club, and no there was nothing they could do to change my mind." (Especially since my business partner had already written a letter detailing her feedback about the parlous service we'd experienced, we'd both filled out customer feedback questionnaires outlining our concerns and I had repeated all the same points in my previous telephone conversations.)  Dennis was not best-pleased - I could tell from the clipped tone of his voice as he wished me a ‘good day.'

So, was I surprised when three days later I received another promotional brochure from the same hotel chain entitled ‘inspirational' and a definition of a stay at the hotel with special offers explained?  Hmm ... inspirational?  Actually I'd say deaf!

 Written by Desirée Willliamson

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