Customer Satisfaction doesn’t mean much anymore. Customer satisfaction means they’re not complaining, but it doesn’t mean they’re coming back.

One question I ask businesses is this: Why do your customers leave you? They give me all sorts of answers, but the real answer is: You have no idea why they leave you until you ask them.

I recommend that companies make a phone call to their customers no later than two business days after a transaction, and after thanking them again for their business, ask them one simple question.

“On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being we walk on water and 1 being you never want to talk to us again, how would you rate us on recommending us to a friend?”

Then listen to what they say. If they give you a 9 or 10, you say “Great! Can you give me one reason you rated us like that?” If they give you a 7 or 8, tell them “We’re really shooting to be a 9 or a 10 in your book. Can you give me one suggestion as to how we could move from a 7 to a 9?” If they give you a 6 or lower, say “Somehow we’ve made a great mistake. What would it take to make you happy again?”

Ask your customers and they will tell you what you’re doing right and what needs improving. And, their loyalty and referrals will grow because you’ve taken the time to talk to them, listen to their ideas, and show you really care.

Authored by Jeff Peden, The Great Ideas Guy and Speaker With Spark

Jeff Peden, Author of Take It To the Max