We have a folder in our email inbox called "customer comments." In April 2010, someone decided that it might be a good idea for us to keep the comments our customers send us via email - up until then we read the comments and probably just deleted them. Over the past four years we have collected hundreds of emails. Most of them are very short and to the point, but when they arrive I am thrilled.
I always read them - pull up the job mentioned and figure out what was so remarkable that someone would take the time to email me a comment. Sometimes it's the coloring of the artwork that looks especially dramatic on a particular piece. Sometimes it is the depth of the engraving. Sometimes it is just timing, getting the gift or award shipped safely to the client on short notice. What our customers like and dislike is very important to me, it is our goal as a company to continually improve and adjust.
After a quick analysis I would take care of any problems, smile at words of praise and tuck the email carefully in our customer comment folder for safe keeping... until today. Today we took out all our comments out and pasted them in one large document minus any customer names.
I had recently come from a presentation at one of my clients offices and noticed that they had used word clouds to collect the opinions of people around the office about a particular subject. Once they collected the information they ran it through software that gave them a visual depiction of what issues were the most important. It was a great tool to get people talking about what really matters most. I thought that this would be a great way to see what our clients think of us. So after gathering all the emails we created a word cloud of our customers' opinions.
What a feel good moment! All the words of praise popped right off the screen in vivid colors. I immediately made it the screen saver on all the office computers. It's good to have a reminder how much these personalized gifts mean to people. Engraved gifts and awards will last more than a lifetime, so it is important to be very careful and to make sure the artwork and engraving are perfect. Of course we've had some mistakes as well over the years, but luckily very, very few, so few in fact that they were crowded out of our cloud.
To me this word cloud is a thing of great beauty, it is the product of being in business for over 10 years. I am thinking about engraving this multi colored word cloud on either a marble plaque to hang in the office or engraving it on a wine bottle and giving each employe one as a company thank you. We wouldn't be receiving these words of praise if everyone wasn't doing a fine job.