How To Increase Customer Satisfaction By Asking the Right Questions

How To Increase Customer Satisfaction By Asking the Right Questions

Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

Are you asking the right questions to increase customer satisfaction and staff, too?

Are you applying relatability and emotional intelligence to lead by example and turn customer service from satisfactory to exceptional?

This podcast episode with customer experience and service expert Stacy Sherman and featured guest Marty Grunder, CEO and “Entrepreneur Of The Year,” provide solutions to these important topics so that you can increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. You’ll hear:

  • Why asking the right questions is essential in grasping customer desires and improving relations with your team.
  • How to leverage the Net Promoter Score to tap into true customer sentiments and why passive feedback should never be ignored.
  • The pivotal role internal customer service plays in setting the stage for exceptional external customer interactions.
  • Effective strategies for fostering a culture of accountability and solution-focused mindsets within your team.
  • The art of roleplaying in preparing staff to excel in customer interactions draws parallels from high-pressure training methods used by elite forces and sports teams.
  • Anecdotes from Marty’s journey of growing a successful landscaping business during his college years, the understated power of simply returning calls promptly, and the continuous pursuit of progress over perfection.

Whether you’re a leader, entrepreneur, or customer service professional, this podcast episode will help you establish and grow a brand that resonates with customers and stands out in a crowded marketplace!


Customer Experience (CX) and Service Topics & Time Stamps: 

[00:01] Introduction and Welcoming Marty Grunder
[00:23] Marty’s Professional Background
[01:07] Fun Fact about Marty’s Business Success
[02:31] Advice to Younger Self: The Power of Asking Questions
[03:47] Customer Experience and the Importance of Asking the Right Questions
[05:24] Delivering on Customer Expectations and Simplifying Satisfaction
[06:04] The Significance of Listening to the Customer in Landscaping
[07:21] Basic Customer Service and Core Values
[09:04] The Importance of Relatability and Emotional Intelligence
[14:00] Key Questions to Gauge Customer Satisfaction
[16:14] Internal Customer Service Setting the Standard for External Customer Service
[18:55] The Concept of Progress Over Perfection
[21:02] Encouraging a Speak Up Culture and Comfort with Roleplaying
[23:06] Innovation as a Mindset and Continuous Improvement
[24:48] Final Takeaway: Reflecting the Importance of Internal Customer Service

Want to read this episode transcript, click >here 

Press Play  To WATCH On Youtube

About Marty Grunder ~ Putting Customer Satisfaction At The Forefront Every Day

Marty Grunder is the founder and CEO of The Grow Group and of Grunder Landscaping Co., one of the most successful landscaping companies in the Midwest.

An unusual combination of full-time landscape professional and leading green-industry coach, Marty is uniquely positioned to deliver real-world, real-time guidance to Grow Group clients. His landscaping company has earned more than 50 local and national design awards and is a two-time winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Eclipse Integrity Award. Marty has himself been named entrepreneur of the year by both Ernst & Young and the US Small Business Administration and a Leader in Diversity by the Dayton Business Journal. The author of The 9 Super Simple Steps to Entrepreneurial Success, he has coached tens of hundreds of landscaping professionals and companies across the US and Canada and delivered more than 550 talks, motivating audiences of all sizes and shapes—from a small gathering of 20 to a stadium of 9,000—to achieve success. He is a columnist for Landscape Management and is a member of the boards of Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio and Wright State University. A graduate of the University of Dayton School of Business, Marty is based in Dayton, Ohio.

Connect on LinkedIn

About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®‬

Customer experience and marketing global keynote speaker, LinkedIn Learning instructor, author, advisor, and host of the award-winning DoingCXRight podcast. Known for her Heart & Science™ framework that helps you gain profitable clients and brand loyalty–fueled by an empowered workforce. Stacy’s been walking the talk for 25 years as a strategist and practitioner at companies of all sizes and industries, i.e., Liveops, Verizon, Schindler Elevator Corp, Wilton Brands, and AT&T. She’s also a board advisor at multiple universities, featured in Forbes and other top-rated publications.

Her Why: To cultivate loyal relationships and meaningful experiences that enrich people’s lives. Contact Stacy about DOING Customer Experience (CX) and Service Right. Continue reading bio >here.

Keyword themes: DoingCXRight podcast business customer service contact center marketing Customer satisfaction Customer loyalty

NPS Survey Question – Should It Be First Or Last?

NPS Survey Question – Should It Be First Or Last?

Writing surveys is a science and an art. If you don’t do it right, the voice of customer data gained will be meaningless. In fact, I have seen cases where people made bad business decisions because of undefined goals and leading questions that influenced responder opinions.

Survey Design Best Practices

People often ask me…how much does survey question order matter? Does the question order create a bias?  Is it better to ask CX measurement questions like Net Promoter Score (NPS), “how likely are you to recommend” at the beginning or at the end of a survey? 

I have tried both ways and believe there are pros and cons to each scenario. For instance, if you ask the Net Promoter question at the end, and the survey is too long, responders may quit. You won’t get the quantitative results needed. On the other hand, if you ask the NPS question first, the answer may not reflect the person’s actual views.

To help solve the debate, I asked NPS pioneer, Rob Markey, his perspective. He argues in favor of it being the first survey question and has several explanations as to why. You can hear his answers and get actionable customer experience measurement tips on my DoingCXRight®‬ podcast. (Episode 2).

Upon further research, I discovered another perspective that’s worth sharing. Zontziry (Z) Johnson explains

The Argument for Placing NPS Question First

“Putting the overall question first does a few things. According to research, it can actually act as an anchor by which a respondent answers the rest of the questions. So, if we ask an overall question first and get that knee-jerk reaction from a respondent that might be given if asked about their experience by a friend, as they take the rest of the survey, they tend to adjust their following answers to match the answer to the overall question. This is great for the researcher if the answer to that overall question is positive; this isn’t great if that answer is negative.”


The Argument for Placing NPS Question Last

According to  “Order Effects in Customer Satisfaction Modelling,” from the Journal of Marketing Management, “…customers’ overall evaluations are more extreme and better explained when provided after attribute evaluations.” By asking the specifics before asking the overall question, respondents will be thinking more about how the specifics add up to their overall level of satisfaction. Arguably, this could mean they are giving a more thought-out answer to that overall question. When should you put the overall question last? When you want your audience to remember various aspects of their experience and give a more thoughtful response. You may also want to consider placing it last if your respondents will be answering awhile after the experience you’re asking them about. That way, you can remind them of the particulars about the experience before asking them to give their overall impression.


I asked other CX professionals their opinions and was surprised to hear many place important questions at the beginning AND at the end to capture BOTH the initial opinion and impressions they are left with after being reminded of the details.


Based on varying opinions, I recommend testing all scenarios and let the data guide decisions. What is your view?

How To Measure Customer Loyalty (NPS & Beyond)

How To Measure Customer Loyalty (NPS & Beyond)

Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

Watch 1 minute preview

About Rob Markey

Has been called “the Vince Lombardi of customer loyalty.” He founded Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice. Based in the firm’s New York office, and has been with Bain for over 30 years.

Best known as the co-author of The Ultimate Question 2.0, Rob has led many of the world’s most dramatic customer experience transformations. He publishes a popular podcast about customer experience and leadership, and his articles appear regularly in the Harvard Business Review as well as other publications.

Rob’s most recent work focuses on helping large companies measure, manage, and grow the value of their customer relationships. His January 2020 article, “Are You Undervaluing Your Customers,” has helped elevate customer lifetime value to its rightful place in the boardroom. His advocacy for stronger rules for customer metrics disclosure led to projects by FASB and other accounting governance bodies.

He also leads the NPS Loyalty Forum, and is a regular keynote speaker at large conferences and corporate events.

LinkedIn, Twitter


About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®‬

An award-winning certified marketing and customer experience (CX) corporate executive, speaker, author, and podcaster, known for DoingCXRight®. She created a Heart & Science™ framework that accelerates customer loyalty, referrals, and revenue, fueled by engaged employees and customer service representatives. Stacy’s been in the trenches improving experiences as a brand differentiator for 20+ years, working at companies of all sizes and industries, like Liveops, Schindler elevator, Verizon, Martha Steward Craft, AT&T++.   Stacy is on a mission to help people DOING, not just TALKING about CX, so real human connections & happiness exist. Continue reading bio >here.

The Great Debate: Should Employee Paychecks Be Linked To Customer NPS?

The Great Debate: Should Employee Paychecks Be Linked To Customer NPS?

Measuring customer satisfaction and identifying “pain points” for improvement is common practice at nearly all best-in-class companies. While there’s no question about the importance of customer experience (CX) and employee (EX) too, there is a debate about WHICH metric is best and HOW to apply it within organizations. Should it be NPS or something else? Continue Reading →