Is this the Best Customer Service Feedback Question?

If you want the best input and feedback, ask the right questions.

In every situation and context, asking the right questions can make all the difference: to understand customers, gain early warning about issues, for problem-solving, to interact with team members, and overall to help run your business effectively.

When I participate in customer surveys, I pay special attention to the questions. More often than not, there’s nothing special or surprising.

However, I recently was stopped in my tracks with a question from the Dental Dental insurance company after I called their customer support for some assistance. Here’s their question:

  • If you owned a customer service company, would you hire this representative?

This is a brilliant question to obtain an immediate macro assessment of how the customer feels after a direct interaction with a support team member. It may also be the best customer experience question I’ve ever come across. It’s simple. It’s direct. It cuts to the chase. It captures the most critical essence in one easy snapshot. Now, of course, if the answer is no, further diagnostics will be in order. Even for the “yes,” it would be good to know “why” so that behavior can be reinforced and copied across the organization.

By the way, this question is a bit similar to the net promoter score question (would you recommend this product or service) but seems better geared for immediate experience and/or talent assessments.

Here are some other posts I’ve written on the topic of customer feedback and questions:

Harvey Chimoff is a global marketing executive whose experience and expertise span consumer packaged-goods brand management, B2B manufacturing, and plug-in marketing leader consulting. He is a customer-focused leader who connects marketing across the organization to drive performance and achieve business objectives. Harvey is the author of the new book Strategy First, Then Tactics.® How Practical Marketing Discipline Provides the Winning Edge, available on Amazon. Contact him at

Get-Started Action Tips to Evaluate How You Stack Up Versus Competition

The late New York City mayor Ed Koch created a personal, attention-getting mechanism for gaining input and feedback. He famously asked: How am I doing?

Business and marketing leaders have much to gain by utilizing a “How are we doing?” outside-in learning approach. One easy-to-implement way to get started is to conduct a regular program to compare your products and services versus other available options.

During my brand management days at Unilever, the marketing teams had scheduled “cuttings” during which they would compare their products to those of their competitors, review new products and/or generally explore options in the category. It was a cross-functional gathering including R&D and sometimes other colleagues. It fostered collaboration and led to productive and interesting conversations about the business, beyond the technical details.

It was also a fun part of the job, and vividly demonstrated why we all came to work each day: to provide great tasting products to consumers.

I remembered those product review sessions when reading about the keynote speech former Kroger and Harris Teeter executive Fred Morganthall gave during this month’s Private Label Manufacturers Association trade show. His advice has widespread relevance beyond the grocery business: Continue reading

Dynamic Duo – Ingredient Suppliers and Marketers Work Together for Consumer Success

Food ingredient suppliers are gathering this week in Las Vegas for the annual SupplySide West trade show.

And food and beverage marketing teams will be paying attention.

Credit: SupplySide West.

Credit: SupplySide West.

That’s because, in recent years, marketers have realized they can win with food ingredients – if they do it right. Keys include science-based credibility, great taste and mainstream-type products. It’s not easy, but there are wonderful opportunities. Consumers care about what they put in their bodies, more so than ever. They are proactive about what they want to eat and don’t want to eat.

As someone who has worked on the both the ingredient marketing and consumer brand management side of the desk, it’s been interesting to monitor how suppliers and marketers are increasingly coming together. Continue reading