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@DisneyInstitute: Stereotypes reflect preconceived notions about your business. Identify stereotypes to better understand customer expectations.

When I saw this on Twitter I was struck by the simple honesty of it. Sometimes we don’t realize that others see us in a totally different way than we intended. The same might be true about our business. Are you sure that your customers don’t have preconceived notions about your products or services?

The best companies are always looking for ways to push their own limits and be their better selves. That means not being afraid of turning over rocks, even if it means finding something undesirable. The best way to get honest feedback is to ask for it. Then digest it. If there is something you don’t like, don’t take it as an insult, but rather as a challenge. How can you change that kind of situation in the future to get the feedback you want?

Are you asking your customers and your employees to give you feedback? If you aren’t, you should be. They can tell you how they see it. But don’t just ask for their opinion and then file the comment cards in a drawer. You should be managing the feedback you get:
 respond to concerns and compliments
 compile information
 review the trends
Then be prepared to make adjustments and changes to reinforce your brand and let everyone know about them, so that your customers and your employees understand that their expectations matter to you.

Just like with stereotypes that occur because of race or religion, a better understanding of the other position allows you to gain a more complete perspective. Shared understanding is the kind of thing that creates a successful business… and other cool things like world peace 