Not open to feedbacks? Your business too can’t be open for growth. Feedbacks, if they are not good are necessary evils, many of which verges on being funny or weird, further out of which some make sense while for others you just need to turn a deaf ear. Five entrepreneurs share their crazy feedbacks and how good they were.
Handle With ‘Holy’ Care!
Ramesh Agarwal, Chairman & Managing Director, Agarwal Movers Group
As Indians, we all are sentimental about our deity and related religious aspects and customs. So, it happened during a home shifting process when one of our shifting staff picked and moved the box containing idols with his shoes on which quite upset the customer. The feedback that we had from one of our team members after discussing this issue was to introduce a monogram sticker having different religious symbols, on the package indicating its content and hence requiring special handling such as the staff should pack and unpack the content after hand wash and with shoes off and to be kept separate
from other boxes. Another instance was when one of our team members’ pocket carrying company’s cash was picked. So we decided that they should wear vests with pockets (that small local traders often wear) to keep the cash safe. This too was suggested by the fellow team members. There
hasn’t been any complaint on shifting religious items from customers and no unfortunate instances of
misplaced cash since then.
Oh, boy! Let me deliver…
Sneha Chopraa, CEO and Co-founder, Exoticflavorsofindia.com
We always wanted to catch hold of customers’ pulse as precisely as possible for real time feedbacks and suggestions or for any complaints, if they have. This we knew would help us get even closer to them. So, our head of operations suggested that each one of us including the founder and co-founders of the 20-member team should do one order delivery every week, typically near his/her home. We implemented this idea and it has played a great role in helping us get closer to customer expectations. Initially, there was hesitation among many team members for doing this considering it to be a menial job of a courier boy, but what happened after a while was that customers often invited us for a cup of tea, and made the entire exercise quite a fun.
You’ve Got To Be ‘Kidding’ Me
Mandar Desai, Co Founder, Shirsa Labs
Technology impact in imparting and consuming knowledge from kindergarten to university level is quite visible. Since we meet principals of various schools for our product – an online edutainment platform, Planet of GUI for kids between 6-13 years of age, we had our share of instances which were both weird and funny. One of them was when this principal had a feedback for us saying that, “Your product and ideas are dangerous. How can children learn in this environment without a teacher? It seems you are building a 21st century school with transparent glass walls, open doors, and 24*7 access.” This made me remember the state of awareness among nour educators on innovative and high impact models of educating children is a cause of concern for our country. Another instance I remember is even more bizarre where a principal asked me that if she could download all our online content without any Internet
The feedbacks from parents we got made sense as they seem to have understood the needs of Internet for quality education, but were still funny in terms of how today’s tech savvy kids can outsmart adults. A harsh realitycheck that came from the father of a sixth grader talking about parental control said, “Don’t worry about parental controls, my son will find a way around that would make you look like idiots!” Another equally crazy one was from a parent of twins on how hectic it remains for kids to juggle between school, home, friends, play, etc., saying, “Never ignore the fact that you are trying to engage a child whose day is divided between five hobbies, 20 friends, school and a million random thoughts! Do they have time for you?”
Our out-of-the-box meetings
Sumit Chhazed, Co-founder, CredR
If you want to really ideate on different things in business then often brainstorming within office doesn’t give great solutions to problems. So as an exercise to encourage innovative thinking and letting great ideas flow, we thought of having meetings and discussions at unusual places like the corridor of our office building and the terrace apart from restaurants and cafes as well. What happened with this was quite amazing. The thought about our different campaigns like “Har Bike Pe Bike Free” that we launched in November last year or the “Mileage Metre” in June 2016, from our tech team came out of such
unusual places of discussions.
Be My Culture Hero
Anubhab Goel, CEO & Co- Founder, Zimmber
Every company has its own workplace culture, defined or undefined, made by its employees, that if great can help in building great product, happy customers and other stakeholders, and overall building a great brand. However, we consciously decided not to frame certain rules and parameters and then give it a name. We decided to let it evolve itself, and formeda core group of team members to observe that. After all permutations and combinations what came out as a name was in itself quite wacky. We decided that the framework we wanted our culture to grow on was the F.O.C.K. imperative: Fun at work, Ownership
of work, Customer-orientation and finally, to be Kickass at whatever one does. This made some noise internally in the business as the parameters have been very easy for people to live-by.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (July 2016 Issue).