How can heuristics get in the way with client feedback?
Heuristics are mental shortcuts; they are shortcuts created to help us make sense of the information that we receive and patterns that we perceive
They help free up processing power in the brain. They are assumptions that we make to speed up decision making and they allow us to make judgements quickly.
The problem with shortcuts is that they are not always accurate and because they happen subconsciously, we do not realise that we have made a mistake. They lead to cognitive biases. When we become aware of these shortcuts, we can reflect on their impact and we can treat them as hypotheses to be tested rather than assumptions of truth.
This article aims to hold a mirror up to some the shortcuts that you might be using when you gather and make sense of client feedback.
One of the peculiarities of gathering feedback in professional services firms is that the feedback tends to cover not only information that is subjective and external to the professionals (fees, technology, facilities) but also information that is personal to the professional delivering the service (understands my business, service delivery, relationship). Given this personal element to client feedback, understanding the psychology can help professionals get more from the insight sought and received.
There are many biases that exist. Understanding that they exist and noticing when they might be at play can help you to be better able to hear what your client is telling you.