Musings on Coffee and Customer Input

There are two types of people in this world, those who go to bed dreaming of their morning cup of coffee, and those who don’t. I’m the former. The moment I arrive at the office, I pick up my mug and visit the high-tech touchscreen coffee machine, select Java House Extra Dark (JHED) extra strength, and my day has begun.

Recently my routine was disrupted. Next to my high-tech coffee heaven sat a large container of cold brew coffee. I commenced my routine, until my colleague expressed that I must try the cold brew. I was hesitant to cheat on my JHED, but with her insistence I relented and was pleasantly surprised.

Sometimes we need that small burst of encouragement to snap us out of the blur of the status quo. Humans are creatures of habit. We find a process that works for us and it becomes a cycle—wash, rinse, repeat. In our work at Farland Group, we often see our clients experience this as well. Executive teams become so focused on sales quotas or perfecting an internal process that they sometimes fail to make small, but necessary changes.

It’s our standard practice to hold a debrief call with our clients following the completion of a Customer Advisory Board meeting. There is so much preparation leading up to a CAB meeting, yet we find it is just as important to take a moment to pause and reflect on what occurred at the meeting a few days after the dust has settled. It’s informative and extremely valuable for the team to discuss in detail what went well and areas for improvement.

Recently during one of these debrief calls, the client was reflecting on some constructive criticism received during the meeting from one of their customers. Although our client was already aware of this area of weakness—and had begun to take steps to improve it—the candid customer feedback provided an impetus for quicker action. “Sometimes it’s helpful to hear the customers articulate an issue—even if we already are aware of the issue. It is easier to push ourselves if a customer says it, and it’s a good forcing function for us.”

Just like my colleague was a forcing factor in my experience of cold brew (try it—it’s great), direct client feedback can be an impetus for your executive team to begin to see a problem differently. At first it might be uncomfortable—but the results can be caffeinating.

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