In this episode, host John Laurito talks about the importance of consistently asking your clients for feedback. It’s human nature for most customers to walk away and not come back instead of telling that company how they really feel. Especially for industries with a lot of competition, it’s easier for customers to switch than to go through the pain of giving feedback. So as a leader, learn to ASK for feedback and not wait for it.
[1:34] Why do we not tell people how we feel?
[2:46] A real-life example from John
[6:36] Easy lesson: ask for feedback
[10:31] Key takeaway for today’s episode
John (Intro): I have been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good. After running companies small and large for the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic: What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader.
John: All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host today and every day. You know, I remember the days when I was starting this and I was trying to think, OK, what is going to be my opening line for every show? I feel good about that. I had a closing line. This is a test for those of you who’ve been listening for a long time. There’s two words they used to say at the end of my podcast that I no longer say for whatever reason. I just I guess based on some feedback I got also just personal observation. I felt like it was cheesy, it was lead on and I don’t know, I felt like I was. What’s the character in Toy Story to Infinity and Beyond lead on. I was like a Buzz Lightyear of leadership. Buzz Lightyear leadership. Hmm. There’s something I could do with that. All right. Anyways, I digress. OK, so today’s topic.
John: Here’s what I’m going to talk about. I want to share and I want to pose a question to you, and I want to talk through an idea with you that I know if you’re a business owner or leader or a human being, then this pertains to you in one way or the other. You’ve either been on one side of this or another. So the question is, why is it that we do not tell people how we feel? OK, we’ll let that marinate for a second, but let me be more specific, so with regard to businesses now, we’ve all been in businesses and we do business with people or organizations that we love. Do you tell them all the time, do you tell them why you love them in particular, though? I’m going to ask another question. What about the businesses that you don’t enjoy, don’t like or you leave or the services you leave? Do you tell them why you are leaving or why you left?
John: Because I will tell you from a business owner’s perspective, that is unbelievably valuable information that some business owners, some leaders don’t want to hear because of their ego. And that’s a big mistake and that’s a limiting characteristic of theirs. But as a human being and our goal being to help other people get better, why would you not tell somebody why you might be thinking about leaving or leaving? And I’ll give you an example. Listen, I’m on this site, the same side as you are with this, because I have not always done this myself. And I’ll give you a couple of quick stories.
John: So one and I hope my cleaning people are not listening to this, but I have a cleaning team that is excellent. I mean, great people, really great personalities. I love them, but they’re OK. You know, they do an OK, too good job at best, but it’s, you know, OK more than it is good. And, you know, again, super nice. I love them to death. They’re very consistent. They come every two weeks on the same day. But, you know, they forget like today I came into my office, they somehow forgot I had an office in the back of my house. So they didn’t come in here and I was not in the house. So it wasn’t like I was in here. So the office itself,
the bathroom off the office is not cleaned. You know, they just forget things here and there. And sometimes they straighten up the couch and clean it.
John: Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they miss certain areas. Sometimes they get them. It’s just very inconsistent, the quality of what they do. You know, they leave stuff here, they leave a mop, you know, the last three times they’ve left the mop outside. I don’t know why. And it’s a smelly mop, but it’s outside my house to my door, my back to work. And and and then they just told me they left it again. I came today and they said we did that on purpose and I don’t really want to have them up here. So anyway, I bring this up because I am going to change to another cleaning crew that was recommended to me that I know does a great job.
John: Now, the question is, OK, why don’t I just go back to these people that I’ve been working with now for a year or whatever, and why don’t I just tell them, hey, listen, you know, let me give you some feedback. Here’s what I like. Here’s what I don’t like. To be honest, I’m contemplating moving to somebody else. So I just want to give you a fair shot and give you some feedback now. Yes. That would be really helpful for them. But a couple of thoughts, one is, again, and we all think this way, it’s just easier for me to switch to somebody else that I know already does a really great level of work.
John: So if I’m going to pay the same thing and all it is, is a phone call, it’s easier for me to get somebody in who already provides the high level of service that I’m looking for than to try to work with and develop the people that I’m using as much as I like them. There’s just so much competition out there and so much ease of starting a new relationship with a cleaning company. So, you know, again, I should give them the feedback and I probably would. But here’s what I will tell you. I probably will at some point. And I’m not even going to say that I might not because it’s just easier just to, you know, move on to somebody else.
John: But I will say this. I was thinking about what would change the scenario. What would change this scenario is if they asked me just randomly, hey, how are we doing for you? That in and of itself would be enough to open up the door to communication and me telling them
how I feel if they said, hey, is there anything we’re not doing that you want us to do or something that we’re doing that you want us to stop? How can we improve and do a better job for you, even if it was an email and better would be in person a conversation, but that would open the door to me, giving them feedback? And you know what? They would save me as a client.
John: I would not leave because there’s no way I’d give them that feedback when they genuinely asked for it and not give them an opportunity to take some action on it. I just wouldn’t give them an opportunity because I would respect the fact that they would ask and seek that opinion, my feedback. And I wouldn’t leave. They’d retain me as a client. And it’s pretty good money, right? It’s recurring revenue that they have every two weeks. So I think about that. You know, that’s an easy lesson for a leader of any business. Ask people for feedback and do it regularly and do it repeatedly. Ask them what are we doing that we would like us to continue to do? What can we do more of? What do you want us to do less of or stop or what are we not doing that you want us to start doing?
John: Bottom line is, how do you feel about what we are doing? If I’m the leader of an organization and I’ve got a business, it’s a painting company and I have ten people working
for me. Hey, you know what? Those ten people can leave. They’ve got choices they got and want. I just did a podcast with an ultra-successful business owner who you’re going to hear next week, Mike Lumbini. And he was talking about the fact that it is so painful when you lose somebody. Turnover kills businesses. It does. So why not ask your people, what can I do better? How do you feel about working here? You know, honestly, do you like it? Do you not like it? What do you like? What do you not like? What can we do better?
John: That very question itself will get people feeling differently because they’ll feel like they are part of the solution and they will feel like you genuinely care enough about how they feel to ask that question in the first place. Now, the biggest mistake you can ever make is you get
that feedback, then do anything with it. That’s the kiss of death. And I’ve seen that before. I’ve had other podcast episodes about that. So don’t do that. But genuinely ask the question, get the feedback, take action on it. You know, my dad was going to a coffee shop, a place and and stopped going. And this is a great place, great place, great atmosphere, great people, great food, great everything. And he stopped temporarily only because of one little experience that just annoyed him enough.
John: So that is like, you know what, I’m going to go to a different place. And I don’t think they’ve lost them for good. They have. And he’s going to come back, I think. But he had you know, he asked for a piece of toast or something that I think should have come with a meal. And they ended up giving him a check of, you know, a bill for it. It was like a dollar fifty or something like that, you know, and I got it, you know, it’s like, well, why was I charged for this? I thought it would come with the omelet or whatever, and I don’t even remember what it was. But my guess is if the business owner got that feedback, they’d be like, oh, my gosh, no way.
John: OK, let’s fix that or whatever. Or at least they do something or but that would be valuable. And ultimately, my dad, like everybody else, didn’t give that feedback. But I’m sure if they asked and he was given an opportunity to say, hey, what do I like, what I don’t like, what’s been the best, the worst, whatever, I’m sure he would give them that feedback, just as you know and, you know, courtesy of some critical feedback. You know, every business owner can use that. My point in this is my dad, myself, everybody out there that I’m talking to that’s listening to this, you’ve been in that situation before. You’ve thought something and what you’re thinking about is valuable to another person would help them do better.
John: Would help the business do better, would help somebody make a better decision, yet we don’t offer that opinion. Why? Because of these situations, sometimes it’s just easier to do something else again. Human nature. It’s easier for me to just switch to another cleaner. It’s easier to go to another coffee shop. It’s easier to do business with somebody else. Whatever your industry is, I can pretty much tell you’ve got a lot of competition. There are very few businesses or industries that don’t have a lot of competition. You, people, have a choice and sometimes it’s easier just to change than it is to go through the pain of giving feedback and waiting for that person to change or correct their actions or, you know, change there, you know, their service level or quality, whatever the case may be.
John: So my big takeaway, best message of encouragement to you to have the takeaway is as a business or a leader, I don’t care if you’re a coach, if you’re a teacher, if you are a parent, if you are a CEO, a small business owner, ask people for feedback. How am I doing?
What am I doing that I can do better with? What do you want me to do? What do you want me to continue to do or do less of? Just ask the question. It’s unbelievable what will come from that. And in many cases you will save yourself turnover and you will keep people that
you might not otherwise have kept. So take it, do whatever you want with it. But I will tell you some really good advice. And if I were you, I’d do something with it.
John: So without any further ado, that’s it. That’s all I got for you today. Eleven minutes of chock full goodness. So as always, like share subscriptions. Please let me know what you like. Why? Here’s my request for some feedback. What do you like about this show? What do you want to hear more of what you want to hear less of? Somebody told me a lead-on
thing was cheesy. I’m like it is cheesy. I don’t know. I don’t know what else to say at the end. Tell me that’s going to be my new challenge to you.
John: Give me some kind of closing tagline other than lead on so I don’t sound like what’s his name. She’s after a blank already. What’s the guy’s name? Um, darn it. Uh, to infinity and beyond. Oh gosh, darn it. Lost Buzz Lightyear. There it is. Buzz Leader Lightyear. OK, anyways, enough so go enjoy your day. Go down below the five-star review and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody. Bye.
John (Closing): Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at email@example.com Once again, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Lead on!