The One Question You Should Include in All Feedback Surveys

Management Expert Ken Blanchard (author of The One Minute Manager) once said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

That’s a great quote. The breakfast metaphor reminds us that feedback is something you should actively consume. But feedback is also something you need to digest so that it can fuel your business.

surveyWhen we survey our clients, we think carefully about not only what we’ll ask, but also about how we will digest the feedback.

In most of our surveys, we say, “Please tell us why (or why you wouldn’t) recommend MarketVolt to others.”

If someone says, “No, I won’t recommend your business because…,” we contact that person. We dig deeper into the issues, and we try — if practical — to solve them. When we respond quickly, honestly and directly, we often turn a disgruntled customer into a happy customer. We save an at-risk relationship. This reduces customer turnover.

If someone says, “Yes, I would recommend you because…” we contact and thank that person, and we ask two these questions:

  • May we include your comments in our marketing materials?
  • Do you know others who might benefit from our products and services; and, if so, would you be willing to recommend us to them?

Testimonials and case-studies help you sell. They establish social proof that people value your products and services. Most people who say nice things about you in a survey will agree to be quoted in your marketing materials, and some will elaborate for a case study.

Most people who say nice things about you will also be happy to tell others about your business. If you don’t have a referral program already in place, establish one.

Ask happy customers for referrals by reminding them what kind of customers you seek, how to best describe your business to prospects and how (if applicable) you reward referrals.

Case studies and referrals will lead to new sales. Responding well to negative feedback will reduce turnover. You can get all of that with one simple survey question. Now that’s what I call a nutritious breakfast!

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