Crystal ball gazing

Recently I met with the general manager of a community-based leisure facility who wanted me to find out the satisfaction levels of her customers. We had a good conversation – discussing her needs – and whether I’d be able to help her. In due course she asked for a proposal and then said “Yes” to it – details, pricing, timeframe, deliverables, etc.

The final step before giving the project the green light was for her to get approval from the voluntary Board to which she reported. To her disappointment they said “No”. I was curious as to the reason for their decision. Thankfully she was willing to tell me – and it was simply that the Board thought there “would be very little new information to be gained from the Survey, that we don’t already know ourselves”! And this was a view from a group of people who have no active role in the business – so they would not be regularly engaging with customers or getting customer opinions through any other medium.

Can you accurately predict the future? Do you know what your customers would say if you asked them about how they’re being treated? Or what they’re looking for from you that you’re not currently providing? Or what they want you to do differently? Or what (if anything) in their eyes distinguishes you from your competition?

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