“The lack of customer complaints is not making us a better company.”

I heard this statement in a meeting the other day and I’ve been chewing on it ever since. This is good stuff.

Having zero complaints is not the same thing as having zero defects. Having zero complaints just means that no one is talking. It’s like saying having zero 911-calls means there is no crime. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

We get better by making improvements. To make improvements, we have to know what’s wrong, or at the very least, what’s not perfect. Making improvements means fixing problems, streamlining processes, upgrading quality. If an organization is not digging up dirt by sifting through customer feedback and performing relentless self-examination, “getting better” just can’t happen.

The next time you want to improve yourself, ask someone what you’re doing wrong.

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