What am I really asking??

I recently had a client whose contract period ended.  As good business practice, I called them to obtain feedback from them to share their thoughts with me on their experience. After leaving a couple of messages and sending an email I had no response. I found it strange since we had built a good rapport.

I started examining my email—I soon realized my request, “please share your thoughts” was too vague. What I was really seeking was much more specific such as:

What would you like to see improve in the services of SVC?

Are there any concerns you have about the services provided?

What aspects of the service did you feel were beneficial to you?

Would you recommend SVC?

Are you open to renewing your contract?

Asking the right question is critical to feedback and as important as the responses themselves. Yes perhaps the responses might sting but this information will provide an opportunity to learn about your customer and yourself, to identify ways to serve your customer better, and to push towards a higher quality of work, ultimately seeking the bar of excellence.