• Graham Henrickson

A GOLD STAR Approach to Consumer Feedback

Updated: Jun 18


Unsolicited/raw feedback is prompted by either a poor experience or a great one. In my view this makes it more valuable than research studies and surveys because it provides a true measure of your company’s performance and real insight into the experiences associated with your brand. You must also respect the fact that it takes time and effort to write.

Many companies state publicly – ‘We value and welcome your feedback’. But in reality they only want back-slapping feedback. Honesty is unappreciated and criticism is not welcome at all. Some go as far as to admonish the writter.


When it ciomes to giving feedback, I try to acknowledge the great experiences as well as the bad.


The way a company responds to the ‘bad’ is a real test of character. How they respond to news they have failed to live up to expectations is a true measure if a company's ethics and culture. Many fail to realise it provides the opportunity to win a customer back with even greater loyalty or lose them forever.


I recently wrote to a national manufacturer of breakfast cereals and snack bars. They had changed the packaging of my favourite cereal; one I eat almost every day. While the new packaging offered greater value, the move from a box to a bag meant the contents failed to live up to the ‘clusters’ as promised.


I received a response within days. They acknowledged my disappointment, expressed gratitude and explained what they were trying to do. They wrote of their objective to reduce the sugar content (the binding agent that creates the 'clusters') and the challenges - it all made prefect and logical sense.


The email went on to thank me for caring enough to write and as a gesture of appreciation they were sending me a selection of their products. This was something I did not expect or felt warranted. A real surprise factor!


True to their word, a few days later, a box containing a replacement of the cereal I had purchased and an assortment of their other products was delivered to me with a personal hand-written note.


Now, that is the GOLD STAR Approach to Consumer Feedback