Champion's View of Negative Comments to Feedback

Options
Jay Thonour
Jay Thonour Member Posts: 7 Contributor
First Anniversary Photogenic
edited July 2020 in Strategy & Planning

Great discussion during the #CSleadershipofficehours 11 Jun 2020. This was posted on Linkedin, @Jay Nathan , suggested I post this here as well.  

Sometimes, I have found my customer champions worried about negative comments more than us, as part of feedback gathering. 

A considerable amount of effort was spent, convincing about the usefulness of negative comments.

Have you had this situation? How did you handle this?

Tagged:

Comments

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited June 2020
    Options

    Clarifying question: So who is the one giving the negative comments and who is it about (your company or the customer)? 

  • Jay Thonour
    Jay Thonour Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited June 2020
    Options

    @Kevin Mitchell Leonor  The comments I was referring are from the business users/end users of the champion. The feedback is sought by us, directed to us - however it is a bit more complicated than that. Let me explain, the comments are negative because of the product capability/lack of it, usability,...etc. When analysed, many of them seem owing to lack of understanding, awareness, user training etc. That is a different topic to discuss I guess :)

  • Shari Srebnick
    Shari Srebnick Member Posts: 111 Expert
    First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2020
    Options

    Hi Jay - 

    In my experience, I have found that our champions can "feel bad" giving negative reviews or feedback, as you've said, mostly because they have a good relationship with their CSM and want to ensure they know it's not about them, but the product.  That said, they haven't really held back, but tend to justify their statements with "But you're great!" and the like.  And if they do seem hesitant, we try to instill confidence in them that their feedback only serves to help us improve.  We exist to help them, and how can we do it if we don't know what they're experiencing?  That is typically how we would drive the conversation.  

    To your second point/topic, I think if you're having an honest conversation with the champion and are truly listening, you can ask good questions that dig deeper and get to the root of the matter.  Meaning, is it really the product, or is it customer maturity.  Once you know that, you can apply the proper playbook or methodology you have in place.

  • Jared Scoubes
    Jared Scoubes Member Posts: 16 Contributor
    edited June 2020
    Options

    I try to set the expectation during the onboarding and training process that feedback is part of their responsibility and is extremely valuable as we look to enhance and improve our platform for them. Then later as I reach out monthly or quarterly, I am able to ask for feedback (negative or positive) to 1.) get a better understanding of their needs and 2.) get a feel for how active they are with our platform. I assure them that negative feedback is good because it lets us know how we can improve. 

    My question to you is, "How are you gathering the feedback?" If your champions are hesitant, would a survey or questionnaire (or a different non-confrontational solution) be more effective - meaning would they be more likely to click on a "2 star rating" or "needs improvement bubble" versus actually vocalizing it?

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited June 2020
    Options

    So in my experiences, user understanding or error gaps were common in Duetto. One thing I did differently from my colleagues was that I came from a place of curiosity and understanding. Others, just told them what to do.

    It's fine most of the time, but other times they don't do it unless they understand it. So having the conversation around those understanding gaps was imperative to build that value and was imperative to unlocking future adoption campaigns.

  • Jay Thonour
    Jay Thonour Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited June 2020
    Options

    Thank you, @Shari Srebnick , Thank you, @Kevin Mitchell Leonor  

  • Jay Thonour
    Jay Thonour Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited June 2020
    Options

    Thank you, @Jared Scoubes . I agree with the you regarding possible improvement from negative feedback. The feedback mechanism used was a large scale survey. The champions are usually hesitant at first, I used different tactics to ensure they felt comfortable. In my previous organisation, this feedback mechanism was used for impact analysis, tied to strong growth framework. It was not that hard, if I made the right references to convince most.  

  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Comment
    edited June 2020
    Options

    The way you ask the questions and the way you share the results will be very important. For example, asking various stakeholders something like, "What do you think of our CSM" is only going to make this personal, so instead ask, "What do you think about the way in which our company manages the relationship with your company?" (or similar).  You'll want to commit to sharing the results with your champion so that they can help you recruit participation (responses) from their colleagues. You'll also want to show how their company compares to others -- e.g. maybe they perceive a gap that other customers don't, and perhaps the solution is process-adoption/change-management or maybe a use-case that you don't currently support... 

    Either way you'll want to engage your champion (and others) to develop the action plan based on the feedback.  We find that collecting the broad feedback in advance of a QBR works well for large/strategic accounts where you can share the feedback results (anonymously) in the QBR as well as a draft Joint Success Plan that allows you both to address the gaps.

  • Kristen Lishman
    Kristen Lishman Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    edited June 2020
    Options

    I've always said, it's a scary and risky place to be in when you only have one champion at the customer level. Depending on the size of the customer/number of users, I realize this isn't always possible. So what's important, is try to bring some users into the conversation during the sales cycle, and then again during onboarding. Same thing with training. I've been in situations where the process is to "train the trainer" (champion) and then they are to train the rest of the users. But if you can get buy-in from more people at the customer level from the get-go, and have at least one back-up person on the training in addition to your Admin/Champion, it'll go a long way.

  • Jay Thonour
    Jay Thonour Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020
    Options

    Thank you, Steve