Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oh, I do that.

I got my haircut yesterday. I'm not telling you who cuts my hair, because I already have to book my appointments two months in advance, and I can't risk that the three people who read this blog would start going to her and make it even harder to get an appointment.

Anyway, I overheard her talking to the stylist who works across from her. This other stylist has just started doing eyebrow microblading (a popular new technique to get the appearance of thicker eyebrows). Most estheticians who perform this post before and after pictures on Instagram or other social media pages as a way to advertise their services.

My hair stylist (who will remain nameless) started telling her that when she posts this before and after pictures on Instagram, she really needs to show three pictures: a before, a directly after, and a 4-week after (once it is completely healed). Nobody does that, everyone just posts a before and an immediately after.

Stylist #2 had a difficult time with this suggestion. Her immediate response was "oh, I do that."

She doesn't.

She might post a picture several weeks later after they are completely healed but the pictures aren't side by side.

Being in the customer feedback biz, I can't really fault stylist #2. Her reaction of "oh, I do that" is the most common response to customer feedback.

It seems like when customers or potential customers give us feedback, the most natural reaction is to assume that they are telling us this feedback because we are not as good as we should be. We came up short. No one wants to admit that they came up short.

The truth is, customer feedback can highlight your shortcomings, but it can also give you some interesting new ideas that no one expects you to do, and no one is currently doing.

Regardless of which one it is, your shortcomings or interesting new ideas, you can NEVER get defensive to customer feedback. Once you do that, your customers will stop giving feedback. They're feedback will feel unwelcome.

I've seen this over and over in healthcare, an executive director will approach a patient and ask him/her, "why would you say this?" The patient will then back off their comments because they don't want to make anyone upset. Then nobody learns from the problems and they are doomed to repeat themselves.

Be aware that it can be difficult to hear customer feedback sometimes, make sure you do your best to listen and understand without getting defensive. That's what my hair stylist does, and that's why my hair is so on point today :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

March Madness

It's here! Happy my Utes got the win last night.

I heard Stephen Colbert ask Charles Barkley last week why the country loses its collective mind for this particular tournament every year. This is why I think it's so popular:

Every team has a seed
This is important for casual fans. Anyone can look at the little number next to a team's name and know if they should win or lose their matchup.

Cinderella stories
It's cool to see a team win that was supposed to lose. There are so many upsets every year. #MiddleTennessee

Regional interest
With 68 teams in the field, most people can find someone to cheer for.

Even if your team gets eliminated, you still have a rooting interest for every game. Most workplaces have a bracket contest.

Day games
At some point along the way, the tourney became part of the American workforce culture. Most people are allowed to watch the games at work. If the games were exclusively at night, we might not have all those office bracket competitions, and it wouldn't be a fun culture-building event.

Access to games
Big shout out to CBS, TNT, TRUtv, and TBS for putting the games online. Another shout out to your boss, who probably doesn't care if you watch the games. It's so easy to watch any game.

Any other reasons I missed?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Hate This Blue Carpet!

This brand new blue carpet makes me so mad. It's the carpet in the entry way of our office building. I don't hate blue carpet on principle. It clashes with the carpet right next to it and it's ugly, but that's not why it makes me upset.

It makes me mad because the carpet it replaced was an atrocity. Green tile carpet that was mismatched,  hideous, and at least 20 years old. Over the last five years I asked our landlord no less than 10 times to replace that carpet. They always said they would soon.

We are moving out of our office space in three months. My first reaction to seeing the new carpet last week was "of course," they finally listened to me when we are moving out in three months. But then I realized this is no coincidence.

The landlord also came and replaced our outdated suite signs the week after. They were faced with the reality that their biggest tenant was moving out, they had already lost a large tenant last year and are looking at losing their last tenant this fall. Their building will be empty.

If they don't make some improvements, they will have an empty building generating zero income.

The catch is that over the last five years, I told them several times what they needed to do to make me happy, they never did any of my suggestions.

One of the reasons we picked this building was the beautiful trees that surrounded it. One day, I came to work and almost all the trees had big orange x's on them. I knew this meant they were marked to be cut down.

I begged the building owner not to cut them down. Mature trees are a premium in Utah. He didn't care what I said. They were under the impression that people couldn't see their building from the road and that's why they weren't leasing out as many office spaces as they wanted; people didn't know the building was there.

Had they listened to me, their customer, I would have told them why people weren't leasing offices. Instead,  they played a hunch, cut down the trees and really upset me, their largest customer.

Hunches have their place in business, they are right sometimes. But they are wrong a lot of the time as well. Why wouldn't our landlord at least take the time to verify with his customers that his hunch was right or wrong? It's such a simple investment.

Now they are listening to some of the suggestions I have made over the years, but it's too late for us, and the other tenants. We've already had enough of not being heard.

They have to spend much more on acquisition than they would have spent on retention had they just gave a damn about us.

The moral? Whether you have a formal customer feedback process in place or whether you just want to informally talk to them. Listen to your customers! They will tell you how to make them happy, and that will, in turn, help you attract other customers that likely have the same needs.

In the meantime, I just signed the lease on our beautiful new office space yesterday. I'm pleased to report that the entry way is tiled.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Chris Magleby, CEO

I don't like introducing myself as a CEO. When people ask me what I do, I never say that I'm a CEO. I rarely say that I own part of our company either. I usually say that I work for a firm that does patient satisfaction surveys.

Jessica, one of our account managers, always goes out of her way to introduce me as her boss if she gets the chance because she knows it makes me uncomfortable.

None of my social media accounts have ever said what I do. I don't like to brag, and when your title is CEO, sometimes just saying it sounds like you are bragging. So I rarely talk about being a CEO. If you didn't know any better, you would think I'm ashamed of what I do. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Outside of my family and close friends, nothing brings me more joy in this life than being the CEO of Pinnacle QI. It's the most exciting, rewarding, challenging, and incredible job I could ever have hoped for.

I've decided to be a little more open about me and about what I do. I've made my social media accounts available to anyone (and even say what I do in my bios, ha). I'm also going to start regularly blogging here. Both as Chris Magleby, some dude, and Chris Magleby, CEO.

Not that I am terribly interesting or that everyone could learn a few things from me, but because what we have accomplished at Pinnacle and what we are trying to accomplish is pretty interesting. I think our customers, employees, and any other stake holders have the right to know a little but more about me and the direction I am taking this company.

I hope it's not too boring.