TIP of the Week – 3 questions that reveal what your customers really think about you!


Be honest, how much do you enjoy giving or receiving feedback?

It’s never been my favourite thing to do, but it has been life changing and business critical on enough occasions for me to realise it is an extremely valuable skill.

We all know the theory about feedback and how it can be instrumental in making improvements at personal, team and business level. However, the fact of the matter is most people find feedback difficult to give, but most of all very difficult to take if it is in any sense critical.

Here I will give you a 3 step approach to asking for powerful feedback that is constructive, useful and easy to implement. Imagine what you could do with information that identifies not only areas for improvement, but also reveals additional opportunities as well as things you do well that could gain you extra business!

As with many of our unique Brain Friendly Training techniques, we use memory hooks to help people remember models and techniques. By that I mean a method of memorising a model so you don’t have to go back to a reference book or web site to recall it.

To remember this model I would like you to visualise a set of traffic lights……..


Where RED means STOP





The sequence of feedback follows the order of STOP-START-CONTINUE but it is the detailed wording that is important.

Your customer should be asked:

What should we STOP doing because it doesn’t help you?

These are the things to put right immediately. If you are doing unhelpful things to your customer it won’t take your competitors very long to figure it out and do it better. Additionally, guess what your customer is saying about you in the marketplace? The first thing they will talk about are the things you don’t do well, it’s human nature to gripe about things. Sometimes it’s just one or more little issues and therefore not difficult for you to solve with a little bit of thought and effort. Clearly though, you need to know what those things are and you will often be the last to know, so it’s important to ASK!!

What would you like us to START doing because it would help you and we don’t presently do?

The answer to this question represents a real opportunity to fill a gap in your customer’s experience. Even better it is an opportunity to discover what you could offer the marketplace more widely, on the basis that if one customer has a gap. others may well do as well. The best analogy I can think of is the story of the teasmaid (some of you may remember it!) Apparently an alarm clock manufacturer was once told by a customer: “Shame it can’t make a cup of tea in the morning when the alarm goes off” From that the Teasmaid was invented. Ok, so that’s a bit of an extreme example, but you get the idea….. Again, it just requires you to ASK!!

What would you like us to CONTINUE doing because you like it and we could do more of!

This is my favourite question of the 3, primarily because it is a very positive one. The answer to this clearly gives you an opportunity to sell more of what you do and highlight to the marketplace any unique selling points and benefits. Knowing what your customers like can also be highly motivational for your staff too. It’s always nice to know when you are getting things right and to make sure you at least maintain that. You might even find ways of exceeding your customer’s expectations and go on to delight them. Just think what that would do for your business, employees and suppliers alike!

I would strongly encourage you to have a go at obtaining feedback from your customer using the framework. It won’t cost you anything other than your time, but the feedback will be invaluable…..

Please contact us if you would like further information about our customer experience courses.

Further information and detailed training programmes are available from TIPS for Good Management