Sunday, November 12, 2006

In search of smart and friendly

In search of smart and friendly

Last year I spent a few days in two different hospitals. After each “visit” I was mailed a long questionnaire. I dutifully whipped through the surveys as quickly asossible.

I hate long surveys. I know they help hospitals and other businesses do a better job but I find them tedious.

Here’s the questionnaire I’d like to get the next time a hospital or other business wants to know how they can serve me better:

How likely are you to recommend our hospital (or business) to a friend of colleague? Circle one with 1 being very unlikely ranging up to 10 being extremely likely: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10.

If you are you unlikely to recommend us, please tell us why?

Thriving organizations follow the 7 paths including the smart and friendly system path. This path is based on the principle that organizations thrive or die based the systems they use for getting things done.

Creating a system for getting patient or customer feedback is smart but a long questionnaire is not friendly.

The above questionnaire did not come from my imagination but from the work of Fred Reichheld who has spent over 25 years studying customer loyalty and who recently published The Ultimate Question.

Jack Brennan, CEO of Vanguard calls Reichheld’s approach "radically simple but incredibly valuable”. That’s the hallmark of smart and friendly systems--they are incredibly valuable.

Recently I used Open Space Technology to lead two meetings to get input from the board and staff of a nonprofit that I’m consulting with as they develop a fund raising plan.

Afterwards their CEO e-mailed me saying, “That approach is so simple it is deceptive. We really were involved.”

That’s another hallmark of smart and friendly systems--they are simple and get people involved.

Wisdom for the week: Thriving organizations continually use the smart and friendly systems path to keep their systems finally tuned.

Fair thee well, Rich

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