I spent a considerable number of years working for the Research Department of a school. And in those years of experience, I have been exposed to the importance of research and customer feedback mechanism to any organization.

We don't need to argue that customers serve as the lifeblood of every company. Customers bring sales and these sales figures later translate to profit and earnings for the company. Hence, each customer is a step closer to the company's goal of continuous and growing profitability. In that case, each customer should be treated as a key ladder to the company's success.

Sadly, some companies see customer feedback as a mere communication platform. Customer feedback is often perceived as a way for irritated customers to burst out their complaints. The truth is that customer feedback gives companies an early signal that something in their system is malfunctioning.

A customer complaining of poor product quality or service is already too many. Companies should bear in mind that customers today are given a lot of convenient means to express their dissatisfaction. The presence of technology based communication platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, provides customers more than enough ways to tell the world that something is malfunctioning in a particular company. A tweet, blog entry, status update could reach hundreds to millions of potential and loyal customers faster than a blink of an eye. If the message conveyed by the customer spoke about dissatisfaction, imagine the number of loyal and potential customers who might as well be dismayed and driven away. One lost customer is unfortunately more than a step backward to the sales, growth and future of the company.

My fervent appeal to all companies is for them to take customer feedback SERIOUSLY. If there is a need to establish a separate department that will specialize in handling customer complaints, then invest and make things work. I hope companies realize too that a properly handled customer feedback facilitates a win-win situation. A dissatisfied customer is compensated and the company is able to detect and remedy a malfunctioning system at an early stage. Everyone is spared from further and harm and damages.

At the end of the day, customer feedback, may it be positive or negative, is always a blessing to any company.