The world of retail is becoming more competitive each and every day. In order to gain more sales and satisfy your customers, you first need to know what it is they want. It's impossible to offer a better experience without knowing what your students think about the way you're doing things now. You might be surprised what you learn, too. The best part is, it's as easy as asking.
There are an endless list of ways to go about doing it, but you first need to make yourself open to constructive and even negative feedback. Put aside your personal thoughts and assure yourself that student opinions may not always be nice, but they are truthful, and in each remark is an area for your store to improve. You could create a survey, talk to customers as they're shopping in the store, enlist your student employees to get input from their friends or ask a question on social media; the 'how' is up to you!
Before you ask, however, be prepared to receive. In the following excerpt, from an article written by Mary Jo Asmus and published on SmartBlog for Leadership, she outlines five great considerations to take when thinking over each piece of feedback. Check out her tips below, then read the full article for more information on forming a strategy.
Think of it as a rare gift: It isn’t often that we get feedback. It usually doesn’t come unsolicited, so you have to ask for this wonderful gift that can enhance your ability to lead at your best. Someone giving their honest observations is like getting a gift carefully picked out especially for you.
Don’t be defensive: You get what you get when you ask. It’s someone’s perception. If you are quiet and listen to what they say, you just might find some truth in it, even if it is their truth. There isn’t any sense in denying or making excuses, because you have the choice to do with it as you please.
Express your thanks: This rare, customized gift deserves a heartfelt thank-you because it is so often just as hard to give as it is to receive. Someone has put themselves out there and risked your disapproval to be honest. Just say, “Thank you.”
Decide on your actions: Like any gift, you get to decide what to do with it. Will you tuck it away for a bit, thinking about your choices, or will you open it and begin to use it right away? Maybe you need better instructions on what to do with this feedback gift, in which case you can find someone to confide in.
Get back to them: At some point, it would encourage the gift-giver to continue their philanthropy if you let them know how you used their feedback. It’s also the kind and respectful thing to do. How about a handwritten note expressing your appreciation and a description of how you used their gift?
Treat feedback as the gift it is and you’ll enjoy the benefits of more of it. That’s good for you as a leader and as a human being.