Windows and Mirrors

Most of the James Bond movies have one thing in common—a two-way mirror.  In the early movies with Sean Connery the bad guys usually had a camera on the other side of the mirror–a window to their side.  It enabled them to film the unsuspecting good guys who believed they were looking at a normal mirror.  When my son was a teenager he wondered if someone could invent plate glass that could serve as mirror and window on command—a mirror when you wanted it to be a mirror; and a window when you needed it to be a window.

Watching a recent movie that used the two-way mirror made me think of his query as it relates to customers.  As service providers, we get feedback from customers and treat it as if it is coming through a window—we see the customer and hear their feedback.  If the window turned into a mirror, we would see ourselves and potentially value the feedback as if eavesdropping on service improvement intelligence—instructions in how to serve customers more effectively.  When you hear complaints, how quickly do you switch the window on the customer concern into a mirror for reflection and renewal.

Recent research indicates that customer complaints are higher than they have ever been.  Yet, most customers do not believe the organization really understands what they experience.  They know they are being heard—they are shouting too loud to not be.  But, they are not feeling understood and/or valued because no mirror comes into play that results in changes they can witness!  How can you flip from window to mirror


About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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