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What Needs to Change? Are You Asking the Right People?

whatneedstochangeIt is that time of year again. It is almost without fail that I start getting the emails and articles from advisors and coaches reminding us that the first four months of the year are done. Here is some of what I have seen: “2014 1/3 way over!” “What have you accomplished this year?” “May already?”

They beat the drum to conduct a self-review of your business and seek their help to fix what is wrong with you and your business. They are sounding the alarms off and basically creating fear in people to seek their services. I have a different perspective.

Yes, the beginning of May means that the first four months of the year are over. What does it mean for you? Are you just doing the same things the same way and getting the same results? It is possible this is a good thing for you! However, if you are like the most of us, yes it is a good time to review what is working, what is not working and seek to make the changes necessary to achieve better results.

Instead of first focusing on you and what you need to different from YOUR perspective, try asking your customer and clients to offer their thoughts.

What? Yes you read it correctly. Who better to give you feedback on your business than your customers and clients? There are numerous ways to obtain this feedback and these are adjustable depending upon the type of business your run.

In the brick and mortar retail environment you might run a focus group with prizes given to those who are selected to participate. What you want to know is how they experience your store. How do they find the people who work there and the interaction with you, the customer, at the register, on the floor of the store? Are the items in the store easy to locate? Do they wish you carried other products? And much more.

In the services business environment you might send a letter or a card inviting your clients to take an online anonymous survey. You may set this up to where a gift card credit is sent virtually once the survey is completed. This type of feedback will open your eyes to how your clients feel about your service, how you added value or not, your follow up, your scheduling methods and much more.

This is the perfect time of year to obtain this type of feedback. One critical point is, you must follow up on the feedback once it is given to you. This might be as simple as compiling a full list of the top five items you intend to change and how you intend to change them. At the end of this process you may very well be creating customers and clients for life.

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified personal and executive coach who resides in Stamford, CT.


  1. Getting outside evaluation from customers, clients, and the public is an excellent way to assess a business and what, if anything, needs to change.

  2. Thank you for having a different perspective. I get tired of all of the fear-mongers, quite frankly it’s exhausting and I’ve learned to tune them out. I appreciate that you approach things from a different angle.

  3. Very good point Mitch! Yes, it’s time to hear from our clients what’s working and what’s not. I recently did a survey with 3 questions 3 answers each.. I got 33% for each. Oy! But it was really helpful and I found a solution that served 66% of them and I think the last 33% will still be on board with the changes. Acknowledging I heard them and making an announcement in my newsletter of the changes was met with great response!

  4. Great stuff, Mitch. Getting feedback from your customers and clients and actually giving them what they want is the best thing any business owner could do.

  5. Agree, Mitch! Customers and clients are are MOST important people for feedback, and this is a great time of year to tap them for some. <3 Katherine.

  6. I love surveys and you’re so right – follow-up on the results!

    I also really like your positive spin on this

  7. Mitch – Great point! Asking your clients and customers for feedback, suggestions, and for what they would like to see in the future is a great way to make decisions with real data, instead of just on what you think or believe to be true!