Let Me Give You Some Feedback

I had a professor at the University of Alabama named Dr. John Bickley. Dr. B was a truly extraordinary teacher, one who stays with you for years after you have left his class—not just for the in-class lessons he taught us, but for the lifelong lessons as well. For example…

Dr. B had the habit of rating his customer experiences long before it became in vogue to send out customer satisfaction surveys after each bloody phone call. He was a frequent flier and would regularly drop a note in the mail to United Airlines to tell the company what he thought of his most recent flight. It was nothing special, just a lined index card with a few thoughts jotted down on it.

He never got any response or recognition from United. Not one…that is, until he stopped sending notes. When he left his job at the University of Texas and moved to Tuscaloosa, he no longer flew and thus stopped sending his comments to United. One day, he got a phone call from someone there. They were wondering what happened to him and, once they found out he was fine, thanked him profusely for the comments. They were listening all that time and loved the compliments and suggestions. (Trust me, Dr. B NEVER criticized. He just told you what to do better next time! God, but I miss him!)

This afternoon, I received a text message from my daughter Kate. She runs the Genius Bar for Apple computer and was enjoying a sandwich at Nordstrom’s Cafe. Kate raved on and on about the quality of the meal and the service: “If Apple made sandwiches, this is what it would be like,” she wrote. High praise, indeed, coming from someone who knows a little bit about customer service.

My reply? “Tell them. They need the feedback.” She wrote back, “Already did. I’m your daughter, remember? It made their day!”

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • pcartwright


    Thanks for the great article. I too make a habit of letting people know when they give me extraordinary service as well as let them know if there are slight improvements to be made.

    Whenever we hear from a customer that we’ve done something great, I always personally call them to thank them for taking the time out of their busy day to let us know that we made something better for them. Then I make sure to share it with the whole company – it makes everyone’s day!

  • Margie Dana

    I love this post. Thanks for making such an important point. And while i’m at it, "Great job, Bill!" :)

  • Dan Jones

    Here is some feedback for you. (I know you don’t expect it)

    Outstanding article!