CANDOR OR CANDY
Checking in with your customers is a valuable part of the business cycle. Through surveys, social media, or even word of mouth, it is important to gather feedback properly… and ask for it correctly.
We’ve all likely been surveyed incorrectly before, asked to weight in even though the questions provided were so leading or sugar-coated that it was impossible to generate honest feedback.
Though these types of prompts can certainly produce ego-boosting results, they ignore general areas of concern — the very aspect that makes asking for customer response wholly beneficial.
Without uncovering points to focus and improve on, any survey losses its true insight, the type of information your staff needs to know in order to learn and progress.
Asking customers for help requires the implication that we intend to respect their time by ensuring their answers always lead to a payoff, be it improved service, an enhanced product or a better experience ahead.
Asking the no-holds-barred questions, especially publically, takes guts – but becoming vulnerable, stirring the dust, and opening up to the hard truths will lead to the benefits customers ultimately desire.
Ask how you can better your business, not what a favourite product or experience was, opt for candor over candy!
Candor is that ability to look honestly at your business’s reflection, to see not only areas of light, but also those that shadows cast across the mirror of your customer’s involvement.
Hospitality is about learning and delivering quickly, even if that means sometimes uncovering areas of your business that you would rather hide - it is much better to jump off a cliff and unpack a parachute on the way down then it is to unexpectedly fall later.
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