The survey I want you to send me.

When I travel for client work, I try to avoid renting cars, but if I have to, I rent from Avis.

I have a long relationship with them, good past experiences and get the occasional free rental day.

Last week I went to Columbia, South Carolina to run a workshop. And I rented my car from Priceline (and got Hertz).

Avis will never know that, but they should.

Are you still our customer?

Feedback is critical skill that we teach all of our clients. Most of them know how to — and do — get feedback from recent customers, but few get feedback from inactive customers.

This is the survey I want you to send those customers.

This is the survey I want you to send those customers.

That is it. Simple, open-ended, tell me why you are flirting with another company.

Was your last visit to a museum with us? Was your last donation to a charity ours? Was your last hotel stay with our brand?

Innovation through asking.

Had Avis sent me this survey, I would have told them why I choose Priceline / Hertz for this trip — it was cheaper.

But this is not only about price.

I am a business customer, but I do not want to spend like a business traveler. I am in charge of a small agency, with small to mid-sized clients and don’t have the luxury of a corporate account.

I want to be loyal to Avis, but I can’t.

I want to tell them all the things I would give-up — selecting a car, upgrades, add-ons, — if they would give me the program that I need.

I want the opposite of super duper club world gold plus. I want to join the consistent club. Give me the same model, smallest car, one color, no options, no upgrades, no exchanges, with an all app check-in for a consistent flat rate.

Done, I am your customer again.

It feels like obvious innovation. But it is only obvious if you ask the right questions.

Don’t limit feedback — and innovation — to the most recent customer.

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