Feedback: the sexiest word in business

As a PR, I have a burning desire to dive into today’s burgeoning pools of questions and comments, compliments and scorn-filled diatribes. Perhaps my journalism education has ingrained these temptations into my DNA. Maybe my millennial paradigm has cursed me to crowdsource opinions. Whatever the cause, I’m an infovore, always seeking public sentiment to analyze. Always looking for feedback [click to tweet].

Fortunately, we are the benefactors of one of technology’s greatest gifts. Nearly instantaneous reviews and surveys are just slivers of the slew of efforts aimed to gauge opinions of product quality, customer service, and the entire gambit of the consumer experience.

Looking for “Grade A” barbecue in Abilene, TX? Check Urbanspoon. Prime hotels in Atlanta? Check Expedia. Best Laundromat in Branson, MO? Go to Yelp, really.

The fallacy of the feedback loop is the perception that all of this information is a one-sided, consumer-to-consumer exchange of insights. If a business isn’t constantly mining social media, Google and any applicable review websites for golden nuggets of feedback it’s not only settling, it’s lacking.

Even staunch disciples of the bottom-line of profits and losses should wake up to the wide world of responsive consumers. It’s far better to corral criticisms, make adjustments and improve your business than ignore them in pursuit of an infallible ego. Truly motivated efforts to adapt to feedback never go unnoticed, and are rarely unrewarded [click to tweet].

It’s certainly more difficult to digest criticism, but it’s more valuable than the kind words next to 5-star reviews. Praise is only a motivator to stay the course, and continue being spectacular in your industry. Instead of fearing the fallout from some particularly harsh feedback, the best executives roll up their sleeves and work to amend the opinion before it becomes a judgment.

After all, their reputations hinge on it.

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