RAB Research Archive

The Fear of Knowing, or Not Knowing



What's worse, knowing your client is unhappy, or not knowing if your client is unhappy? Last Tuesday, we shared our new tool, the RAB Customer Satisfaction Survey, and explained the need for it in the Tuesday Sales Tip. (Click to review last week's tip.)

To our delight, hundreds of you requested this resource. The response ranged from people gladly volunteering to try it out, to managers worried that their teams might not like this level of transparency from a client. This takes us back to the question, wouldn't you rather know if they were unhappy when you have time to address it before they cancel?

Here is an exchange I had with one manager. I thought this recommendation might help other managers decide if and how to use this Customer Satisfaction Survey:

From Jon:

I truly believe that our growth needs to come from having our clients provide us with this type of feedback. We'll see how far we can take this. I anticipate some pushback internally.

Our response and recommendation:

I imagine there will be some pushback if they have never asked the question. My recommendation, not that you asked, is to ask them to send it out, but they are only required to share the positive feedback they receive. (The first time). Of course, they can voluntarily share the not-so-positive with you if they want, but this is about determining their brand efficacy with clients. If they find out that they are weak in areas or are nonexistent, you trust them to address those issues and work to correct them. Asking for only positive feedback initially gives you the opportunity to praise them and look for the good in what they are doing. Who doesn't like that?

As with all tools that "could" cast a shadow on their current belief of how well they are doing, they will resist if they think it's for management oversight. If they are dedicated to their own growth and development, they should want to know what the clients think, whether it's good, bad or indifferent. The problem is, we have rarely asked, so it scares the Schmidt out of us to do so the first time.

The bottom line is we can't get better if we don't know what’s wrong, and we can't feel proud if we don't know what's resonating with our clients. We look forward to all the positive feedback you're getting and we thank you in advance for sharing any discoveries you’ve made about the brand YOU.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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