imageI recently received an inquiry from a partner that I thought I would share here with you all, in case any of you have this same question. Here was the inquiry I received:

“Eric, I recently received your partner satisfaction survey in my inbox and I was wondering, how honest should I really be? I know you guys are asking for feedback, but I don’t want to get into trouble or get anyone there into trouble over something we’re not happy about.”

I’ll share with you the answer that I shared with them, so you too know how to approach the satisfaction survey. Here are some facts:

  • The Global Relationship Study (GRS) survey is sent out twice a year to our customers and partners around the world (See who’s included in my post here)
  • The survey includes questions regarding a variety of aspects of your relationship with Microsoft, including:
    • Product quality
    • The Microsoft Partner Network
    • Your Account Manager/Tele-Account Manager team (if applicable)
    • Cloud computing
    • Overall relationship with Microsoft
    • Security
    • Ease of doing business with Microsoft
    • Licensing
    • Support
    • Resources
    • and more…
  • It is perfectly fine to tell us you love one aspect of your relationship with Microsoft and be very agitated with another (which is why we have different sections of questions, to understand your input and feedback across the different areas, independently and together)
  • There are several open ended questions where you can provide specific feedback (please use these)
  • Answers fall into three main categories:
    • Like it/Happy
    • Don’t like it/Unhappy
    • Don’t care either away/Take it or leave it
  • The results of the survey and the feedback you provide in the survey are shared with teams and leaders across the entire company
  • The results and feedback you share in the survey are used by numerous teams across the company to make/influence decisions, based on what you have shared with us
  • The GRS survey is a key opportunity for you to have your voice heard within Microsoft both at the local level (the country you are in) and at the worldwide level

I point out these facts because I want you to understand the importance of the GRS survey and why it is so important for you to take the opportunity to actually complete they survey if you receive it, and to reiterate to you how incredibly important it is that you are 100% completely open and honest with your input and feedback to us in the survey. We want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Why is this so important?

  • If you like something at Microsoft or are very happy with it and don’t let us know (or just choose the ‘middle box’ of ‘Neutral’), you’re basically telling us that that item really isn’t that important to you or really doesn’t have an impact on your overall satisfaction. As such:
    • As we evaluate things to do more of, this will not rise to the top because you have told us you don’t really care about them either way and you can take them or leave them since they have no real bearing on your satisfaction
    • As we evaluate the items to change/get rid of in lieu of new things, these can very easily be chosen because you’ve told us you don’t really care about them either way and you can take them or leave them since they have no real bearing on your satisfaction
    • If you like something or if something is an area of satisfaction with Microsoft, tell us this so we know what to do more of/don’t change!
  • If you dislike something at Microsoft or are very unhappy with it and don’t let us know (or just choose the ‘middle box’ of ‘Neutral’), you’re basically telling us that that item really isn’t that important to you or really doesn’t have a big impact on your overall satisfaction.
    • As we evaluate things to do less of/change to address areas of dissatisfaction, this will not rise to the top because you have told us you don’t really care about them either way and you can take them or leave them since they have no real bearing on your satisfaction. Because of this, we may continue to do it or even do more of it
    • Even worse, if you tell us you are satisfied/happy with them (because you just want to be nice), then you are telling us to do more of this, that this particular item has a positive impact on your satisfaction with Microsoft and that you want more of what you have been getting of it so far. In fact, you’re telling us to do more of the thing that you are most upset with or that causes you the most dissatisfaction!
    • If you dislike something or if something is an area of dissatisfaction with Microsoft, tell us this so we know what to do less of/change!

When it comes to the open ended questions where you can provide full commentary feedback, please use these. When you do, please be specific and direct. If there is something you like or dislike, tell us specifically what it is and specifically your suggestion on how to make it even better or to fix it. For instance, while we love to hear things like, “Microsoft rocks!” please take it one step further and tell us WHY you think Microsoft rocks so we can do more of it. Also, while we never look forward to seeing, “Microsoft sucks!” unless you tell us WHY you think Microsoft sucks, we can’t help address the area of concern. Please be open, be specific, and be honest. Each and every single verbatim comment we receive is read, re-read, and re-read again by leaders and teams across the company.

As for the “do you really want to hear this?” question, the answer is absolutely, 100% yes. As for the, “Someone told me I should answer this way,” comment, why is anyone telling you how you feel? Answer the survey on behalf of you and your company, openly and honestly. Make no mistake, this is your opportunity to have your voice heard, and it is heard by people at all levels within Microsoft, all the way up and through our Executive leadership team. Please don’t waste that opportunity by either not responding to the survey or by not being 100% open and honest about the things you love and don’t love about working with Microsoft. After all, it is there to help us learn how to be the best company to work with for our customers and partners around the world. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share you open and honest feedback with us in the GRS survey.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Director, Worldwide Partner Experience
Microsoft Corporation
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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