Feedback can be received in many different forms. There are formal ways of asking for feedback through surveys, testimonials and reviews and then the informal feedback that typically comes when you haven’t asked for it, typically the unwelcomed kind.
Any truly caring company thrives on the feedback it receives from team members, clients, partners and the like and most importantly it is what that company does with the information they receive that can set them apart from their competition.
You may be asking yourself, why does this matter? We know our offerings are solid, we have clients, we have “happy” employees. It matters because the foundation of growth for your company depends on the ability to be flexible, make pivots and above all else the ability to follow “the curve”. The curve is natural changes that occur in society, your community, your client base and sometimes even on a larger global scale.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic, I know, I know, enough with the pandemic already. We are all eager to move forward and move on but there are a significant number of lessons that we can take away from this devastating and confusing time in our history. There have been major shifts in the way that we conduct business, communicate and interact with one another. Has your company adapted? Did you make changes on a whim? Or did you stop to ask and listen to your customers and employees about what they need most?
Night Out with “The Girls” is no different. We, too, had to make a significant shift in our processes and delivery of services. We went from doing in-person-only events to a virtual wellness experience in less than four months. That meant that we had to build the infrastructure, reinvent the content, dedicate time and resources to recreating a dynamic service offering. But we didn’t just do this because of the pandemic. We didn’t look at the world around us and see that everyone was moving to virtual because they had to, we thought critically and asked for feedback throughout the entire transformation. The results have been better than we expected and I’d like to share with you our process for transformation and adaptation while always keeping the end result and customer experience in mind.
Should we stay or should we “go”? In March of 2020, everything shifted to virtual in what seemed like overnight. According to the research provided by Business of Apps, Zoom users jumped from about 10 million per day in December of 2019 to over 200 million in March of 2020. That statistic alone shows the almost instant transition from in-person meetings to virtual. Back in November of 2019, we began planning and brainstorming about making a virtual option for our early breast cancer detection events.
At the time, we began researching this option as a means to expand our company across the country and even globally. We started asking our out-of-state prospects if a virtual option would be interesting to them and the answer over and over again was “yes”. Enter March 2020, and the signal was loud and clear that the time for virtual is now and it was time for us to move into the virtual arena.
How much needs to change? When we looked at our event structure, the content, the learning activities and attendee experience, we had to critically assess how much of the programming needed to be altered to adapt to virtual. Instead of just “assuming” what needed to change, we called our team of experts and leaned on our events team to give us feedback. We went through each segment of the event with a fine-toothed comb and with every assessment asked the question “does this make the attendee feel comfortable, connected and foster conversation?” These are the three core values that set our brand’s standard. To make sure the answer was “yes”, we did mock presentations with trusted advisors, spoke with adult education and psychology experts and listened to the feedback from our team members.
Are we there yet? The process of collecting feedback and then incorporating the feedback into our operations, deliverables and processes did not stop with the transition to virtual. In fact, we believe that you are never done improving. Ask any successful company executive if they stopped doing employee reviews, asking for customer feedback or doing surveys. The answer will be a resounding “no!” There is also something to improve upon and keep a pulse on what your audience needs, where society and community resides, and the current trends that are imperative to thrive in the business world.
Listening, collecting and applying the results of feedback is a critical part of your company’s overall success. If you don’t currently have systems in place to regularly ask for feedback, poll your customers, listen to your team members and employees, now is the time to start!
COO, Night Out with “The Girls”