As you already know, some of the scarcest (rarest) yet most valuable information a CEO can obtain is honest, unfiltered feedback. Think about it. You interact all day with managers, employees, and handlers working to keep the boss happy and therefore keep their job. Sure, being surrounded by “Yes men” can be more comfortable, but it can also insulate you from the stark realities of your business. If done correctly, social media enables CEO’s to hear raw, candid feedback from real people – people who aren’t afraid of being fired because they CAN’T be fired. The truth is, leaders with their ego in check are already fully aware that they work for the customer – the customer is his boss – so if the customer doesn’t like dropped calls on their iPhone or the sauce on their Domino’s pizza, it’s their job to make it better. Now, every customer is not always right (or wrong), but if 850 out of 1000 user comments say that the new Sketcher’s Sport shoe caused them to sprain their ankle, then something needs to be fixed – and FAST! CoolCleveland’s Founder Thomas Mulready is a perfect example of a CEO with this customer orientation. After emailing out his weekly eMagazine for 7 years, he decided that it needed to be updated, and set about introducing a new format with much fanfare. In doing so, he also did something revolutionary – he asked all 90,000 of his readers for feedback on what they thought of the new style – and boy did they reply with scores of comments submitted over the span of a few days. But then he did something else revolutionary – he actually listened, modifying and improving the new site to reflect reader tastes and preferences. Yes, it takes humility (“Who are these people to give ME feedback? I invented this product! Don’t they know they can just click the links?) but the end result is an engaged audience who now feel genuinely empowered to provide even MORE feedback, emboldened by the knowledge that their comments actually impact (and can improve) the end product.
Social Media will always give you Unfiltered Feedback