Can Fearing Lawsuits Get in the Way of Listening to Customer Feedback?

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Is the fear of lawsuits getting in the way of listening to customer feedback?

We read with great interest an article written by David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times.

Ron Aryel, a paediatrician who works with disabled kids, recently bought a new car from a leading automotive manufacturer. Whilst researching his purchase, he found out about the company’s new gesture-control technology, which is being incorporated into another series of their cars. The technology enables the driver to interact with the infotainment system by simply waving his or her hand.

Aryel immediately thought of the benefit this technology could bring to disabled people, helping them operate the car. So he wrote to the North American head office making this suggestion. Shortly afterwards, he received a response from them saying thanks but no thanks. The company doesn’t take suggestions from customers. Aryel was left bewildered.

Customer feedback is the most important insight a business can obtain – not listening to it is tantamount to stupidity. However, it is now all too common in today’s corporate world for fear of being taken to court by people who feel their ideas are stolen from them. We agree you don’t want a lawsuit against you but equally, you don’t want to unnecessarily upset an otherwise very satisfied customer. “What they said to me is that a customer’s ideas don’t count,” Aryel said. “They didn’t want to hear from me.”

Catherine Handley, Feedback Ferret’s VP, Client Services says: “Every day we work with our clients’ customer feedback and can attest to the importance of listening – listening to learn about what is going right; listening to determine what is going wrong; listening as a process of continuous improvement.  Though a customer’s feedback may not be helpful or actionable, it does not mean an organization should not at least tune in to the voice of their customer. If nothing else it lets your customers know you care.”

Click HERE to read the full article.