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5 Questions to Ask Your Employees — and Customers

— by Jay Forte


The unusual thing in today’s intellectual economy is the questions you need to ask customers are the same you must ask employees. Both the service event and the workplace now are “human-based” – these events are personal and emotional. Both benefit from questions that ask about our humanity, and our feeling connected and important.

Consider asking these questions of both customers and employees to assess and ultimately activate their emotional connection. Emotional connection inspires loyalty; loyalty drives performance and results.1. Would you recommend us to a friend?

To a customer, is your service so exceptional you would put your reputation on the line to recommend the company? To an employee – is the workplace dynamic, engaging and personalized enough to suggest your friends work there as well?

2. What is the best thing we do for you?

For both, knowing this allows the organization to repeat successful behaviors.

3. What is not working for you right now?

For both, inviting the discussion to share negative experiences can lead to meaningful changes and improvements.

4. At our company, we focus on making others feel like family; how have we made you feel like our family?

For both, activating the sense of connection to family and belonging is key to creating personal relationships and activating loyalty. Behaviors identified in the responses can be repeated.

5. What information do you hear from your social networks and do you see in the world around you that would help us be a better company?

Customers and employees are the eyes and ears of all great companies. Loyal employees and customers openly share what they hear, think, value and see. Organizations dramatically expand their connection to their world by using engaged and loyal customers to observe and assess their worlds. This keeps companies informed, current and aware of what is truly important.

Customers and employees both require a personal and emotional relationship to activate their best performance and loyalty. The more connected management is to employees, and employees are to customers, the more important and valued each feels.

In a service workplace, success is built on relationships. Valued employees create valued customers. Disconnect from employees and customers, and performance, innovation and loyalty suffers. Develop a culture that constantly asks each great questions and uses the information to improve, engage and activate loyalty.

Jay Forte is a nationally ranked thought leader and President of Humanetrics. Jay guides organizations – their leaders and managers – in how to attract, hire and retain today’s best talent. He is the author of “Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition” and “The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform The World.” Jay is a member of SHRM, ASTD, the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association, and you can follow him on Twitter.

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