What is the Ultimate Question You Should Be Asking Your Customers and Your Employees?

One of the best ways to achieve greater results in your organization is through feedback from both your customers, and from internal sources, to keep track of employee engagement and the state of customer satisfaction.

But soliciting feedback needs to be strategic or you are wasting valuable time and the precious attention of your customers and employees. .

In the Scaling Up Four Decisions Model, there are four decisions, People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. The Execution Decision has within it an outline of the Ten Rockefeller Habits that are the key to successful strategic thinking and execution planning. This is a powerful list that can transform your business as you work the model. There are two habits, in particular, that relate to today’s article; Habit #5 and #6 relating to feedback, both external and internal. 

Habit #5. Ongoing employee input is collected to identify obstacles and opportunities.

Habit #6. Reporting and analysis of customer feedback data is as frequent and accurate as financial data.

There have been many studies done over the years regarding employee and customer feedback and how valuable it can be for the top and bottom line of your business. However, a clear, regular and actionable activity around getting and using the feedback seems to be elusive.

Do you have a clear and regular process for interacting with customers both external and internal to determine how things are being received?

Often employee surveys about job satisfaction can be difficult to interpret and very difficult to implement since, without regular communication and trust, it is difficult to get the real answers.

Fred Reichheld offers a good methodology for asking The Ultimate Question in his book of the same title, The Ultimate Question 2.0. Using his method, the ultimate question is followed by two more, very telling, questions.

How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague? (0 to 10 Scale)

  1. What is the ONE main reason for your above answer?
  2. Can someone follow-up with you to discuss the reason? (yes/no and a space to provide contact information so you can follow up with them. This question is only asked if the answer to #1 above is below 7 on a 0 to 10 scale.

The result from these answers is called the NPS or Net Promotion Score. The truth is that knowing whether or not customers will promote your products and services, and whether your employees will promote working at your company, is the most useful feedback you can receive, and promotes action.

Reichheld’s NPS approach provides the same advantages for customer and for employee feedback:

  • A simple, practical, actionable survey
  • A basis, one key question
  • Statistically sound and repeatable
  • Reduces marketing expense (over time)
  • Becoming worldwide standard

If you are requesting feedback on a regular basis both internally and externally see if adding NPS approach might refresh the process. If feedback has not been a top priority, than this is a way to implement it with a short and clear process.

For more information I recommend you read The Ultimate Question 2.0 referenced above.

As always, if you have a question, challenge, or success story you would like to share, please be sure to leave a comment.

And, if you are interested in hearing about the Four Decisions Workshops, please let me know. I would enjoy hearing from you! – Patricia