When my Pop-Pop worked at Wendy's for the last decade or so of his life, he would receive tons of customer comment cards each week. Customers loved seeing him during their visit and wanted management to know.
My Pop-Pop was easy to love, but I can only imagine that those comment cards impacted how his manager viewed him as an employee, giving him feedback if there was any and taking care of him in more ways than one. The comment cards provided insight into Pop-Pop's impact on customers that his manager may not see otherwise.
I was thinking about Pop-Pop's comment cards a couple of weeks ago while reimagining our project debrief process. We're not serving hamburgers and fries, but I have a feeling that integrating client feedback would help us take our service to the next level.
Our project debrief process invites the team to share their perspective on the project. If there is notable client feedback during the project (via calls, emails, NPS, or other channels), it will often make its way into the discussion, but there's no guarantee. The feedback we receive is often like a Yelp review: the client is either ecstatic about their experience or so unhappy that they feel compelled to let us know. There's rarely a middle ground.
If we want to improve how we work and serve our clients, client feedback is just as important, if not more, than how our team thinks the project went. In that way, a project debrief should consider the perspective of everyone involved, including clients.
I imagine a system where clients, like Wendy's customers, have a specific channel to share feedback throughout every project they work on with us. Each milestone could end with a prompt follow-up where we ask clients to rate our meetings and share if they feel like we hit the mark. As the feedback comes in, we can review it and decide on any next actions.
By the end of the project, we'll have improved our collaboration and grown in the process. When it comes time for the project debrief, we can take out all of the "cards" to remind ourselves how the project actually went, discussing what we can do to repeat the best parts and improve upon the challenges.