Posted on: December 15th, 2017 by Rob Baumhover



In addressing groups of business owners and senior managers over the years, there are two simple questions I have put to them…as follows:

1: Here is a question about two people we can call Mr. A and Mr. B: If Mr. A regularly goes for a health check but Mr. B chooses not to…who will find the most health problems, Mr. A or Mr. B?

2: Next question, which of the two men will exert the most control over their health? Mr. A or Mr. B?

The obvious answer in both cases is of course Mr. A, and the point of the exercise is to then ask this question of business leaders: “How many medical and retail enterprises are A or B types, meaning how many actively seek to gain feedback from the people they serve…and how many do not?” From my experience the truth is that very, very few have created organized, consistent ways of actively learning how their work with patients or customers pays off…for both parties, starting with those being served. This awful state of affairs has not occurred because people don’t care about the market they serve; it is because they probably think they already know how people judge their service…and the results they create for people.

Imagine if managers and owners treated their revenue flow in the same way, meaning they would rely on trusting a ‘feeling’ about their results…rather than keeping accurate records. The majority of organizations that ‘appear’ to search for and use market feedback…is amazing. For example, most hotels provide guests with feedback surveys, but less than 3% of guests complete them…perhaps leading hotel managers to think that all is well.

The reason for the pathetic response is that most hotel surveys feature between 40 to 80 questions about all aspects of their service contact…like as if customers see service as being so complex. Perhaps hotels engage in such nonsense because the guests would have to stay an extra night to complete the surveys! And yet there is always a positive exception to the rule. I know of one hotel that asked guests just 2 questions…and using this simple strategy they received feedback from 80% of people and lots of helpful ideas. The questions were as follows:

  • What, if anything, did you find to be pleasing, valuable or distinctive about our service…compared to other hotels you have stayed at?
  • What, if anything, would you suggest we should consider changing about our service to improve your stay with us in future?

Adding a small reward would help, such as a Starbucks gift card…but there is an even better way to learn from the market and improve your contribution to people. It involves inviting a handful of patients/customers to attend an informal, brief meeting with you (and perhaps some staff)…so as to gain first hand feedback along the lines of the two questions just mentioned above. I have a document that explains how to run such a session, offering ideas on how to invite people and questions to use…so please email me to get a copy.

Getting feedback on revenues and other issues that matter to you means very little if you fail to gain opinions from those you serve. They can’t and won’t tell you how to run the business, but they can offer ideas on progress…for them and for you.


Contributor Information:

John Lees is the ‘2nd gap’ manager for Vionic Group, offering free Skype sales training and coaching for Vionic retail partners. John has written 12 books on sales, leadership, and marketing, several of which are available free to Vionic retail customers. By way of background, John was the Australian & New Zealand marketing and sales director for a multi-national German company, and led those operations to market leadership and the most profitable subsidiary worldwide and was then appointed a global marketing consultant to the company. John conducts free Skype training on how to be an Advantageous server, courtesy of Vionic. Contact him today to arrange a session for your team soon: 916-577-3865 or [email protected].

To better understand how Vionic and John Lees can assist you, peruse the titles of John’s 12 books HERE or explore the free business ideas Vionic customers receive in their PS Club HERE.

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