Two Ears, One Mouth -- Good Rule of Thumb when Engaging Customers

I just returned from an inaugural meeting with a well-known tech company that engaged select CIOs and CTOs from the large enterprise customer segment of their organization.  It was a hugely successful start to their Advisory Council initiative and the feedback from both the client execs and customers was among the best we have ever seen with regard to first meetings.

The overwhelming feedback from the CxO's was that the host organization did a phenomenal job of listening to their input.  But more specifically, council members commented that not only did they listen, the host team reiteriated many times that they wanted open, honest feedback and despite some things that were probably not what they wanted to hear, it was received without any defensiveness or counter points.

Members also commented that it was a sign of true commitment that the leadership team was there, fully engaged and really open to honest feedback.  When asked on a post-meeting survey what the members valued most about the advisory council meeting, comments included:
 "The open dialogue and the genuine openness to listening to our inputs and feedback."

"This gave me the insight to undersand their direction with services and future strategy, which I will consider for the future."

"I believe that they really cared about the feedback and that they will consider
the suggested changes."

The key, however, is to make sure that what the host execs heard is considered, and then any resulting actions are communicated back to the council members in a timely fashion.  That will be the proof in the pudding.


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