January 10, 2019 / Michael Sullivan

Improving Operations through Customer Feedback

“When they saw breakfast, I guess they decided to stick me first thing in the morning, “ Andy Sekelsky joked at the start of the third day of Product Stewardship 2018. Even with the early start, he still had an engaged crowd on hand for his talk Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions.

Sekelsky, Global Business Compliance Supervisor for ExxonMobil, shared how his team embarked on a customer feedback journey to help them improve their operations. Through 40 face-to-face interviews with internal customers, his team determined where they were succeeding and where there were opportunities to better serve their partners. What they heard generated a lot of changes to improve their operations. Even the positive feedback still generated ways to be better.

One of the most important conclusions that Sekelsky and his team reached was that customers liked being proactively asked for feedback. Reaching out before there were major issues created made customers feel like their input was truly valued rather than a response to things going wrong. ExxonMobil also found that thorough surveying generates data that can be used to convince leaders of the need to take action and make changes. However, Sekelesky stressed that just collecting feedback on its own wasn’t sufficient. Teams need to be ready to act on what they learned to maintain credibility with their customers.

The audience asked several tactical level questions to understand more about how to collect customer feedback, showing broad interest in applying these principles throughout product stewardship.

Michael Sullivan

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