How not to receive honest feedback...

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

...Or, why Hughes will never know why we left.

Living where I do in a mountain valley, my only choices for Internet are dial-up Internet by Satelliteover ancient phone lines or satellite. For the past few years I have struggled along using Hughes Net. I did try to switch to Wild Blue a few times, but they were always “full” and not accepting new accounts.

Hughes Net, on the other hand, keeps mailing advertisement for new clients, no matter how "full" they are.

Thus, when the promise of Starlink came along, I hurried to pay a deposit and get on the waiting list. It took 18 months, but in September, our new dish finally arrived.

The difference is stunning. Where I was getting 10 mbps on a good day and perhaps 2 on a bad day, I now get 70+ on a bad day. Today it’s 220. (Hughes advertises 25 mbps, but that’s only if you’re plugged directly into the router and it’s not the peak usage time of day.) And, with Hughes, sometimes there’d be a couple hours in the afternoon with no service at all.

With Hughes, I couldn’t watch videos even if they would come in. That would quickly use up my whole month’s allotment of data. If I had company and they used the internet, I had to buy extra tokens.  Starlink has no such restrictions.

Starlink does cost $17 more per month than Hughes, but along with speed and unlimited data, it includes streaming. My husband is loving being able to find and watch old Westerns and other movies, and I’m enjoying old episodes of Columbo and Quantum Leap.

So what does this have to do with feedback?

Today I received an email from Hughes Net asking me to fill out their questionnaire to let them know why I unsubscribed.

That would have been fine, but they are not going to learn much from it.

The choices did include “The service wasn’t up to expectations.” The rest of the choices all began with “The service was excellent, but…” They listed price, being unable to load some pages, speed, and a few other things, but you had to choose only one from the list.

They did ask if there were other issues, then went to a page where you could say that your first choice was the issue, or change it to one of the “excellent, but” choices.

They still won’t know the reasons why they’re losing subscribers.

If they really wanted to know why people were leaving, they’d have allowed multiple choices, eliminated the “excellent” preface, and made a place for comments.

Maybe knowing the reasons why would allow them to make changes in order to compete with Starlink. As it is, the lady at the UPS drop-off told me that more Hughes equipment is coming in for return every day.

Do you ask your clients for feedback?

If you do, good for you!

If you think you should, but haven’t started, please feel free to visit my website and copy the feedback letter you’ll find on this page.

This is similar to the after-closing feedback I sent to all of our clients when I was a broker. We found that by mailing it and including a self-addressed, stamped envelope, we got good results.

And, following advice from some marketing guru, we always used the biggest, prettiest return stamps we could find. (It's supposedly some kind of psychological thing telling people they shouldn't waste those pretty stamps.)

Wishing you years of positive feedback...


Comments (17)

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Marte,

If you really want to get useful feedback you have to ask the right questions and allow for plenty of room to write comments! 


Nov 17, 2022 07:14 PM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Dorie - it does no good to say "In what way were we so excellent that you decided to leave?"

Nov 21, 2022 08:25 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Marte you're spot on with this post!


Featured in BananaTude!


Nov 17, 2022 08:14 PM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Anna Banana!

Nov 21, 2022 08:26 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Loved the post yes we do not want feedback because they might tell us where we are going wrong.... amazing, Endre

Nov 17, 2022 10:42 PM
Marte Cliff

It's nice to hear what you're doing right, but if you want to improve you need to know how you could be better.

Nov 21, 2022 08:26 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Marte... I've often filled out a request for feedback and it's always interesting to me how often the wrong questions are being asked.

Nov 18, 2022 05:04 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Nina - they almost always ask the wrong questions.

Nov 21, 2022 08:27 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

First of all, YAY about the Starlink! I'm so happy you are "well-connected!" As for feedback, I've skipped providing feedback a few times when I really wanted to, for the same reason. Where can I put my actual feedback?

Nov 18, 2022 05:09 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Kat - we were pretty thrilled when we finally got it! The difference is like night and day.

Nov 21, 2022 08:28 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

In the case of businesses, if they want honest feedback, then they should allow for it, not make one choose from a list of set-up responses. 

Clients will offer feedback if they were made to feel special which is what we should attempt to do with all of them.

Nov 18, 2022 06:31 AM
Marte Cliff

Sadly, Ed, not too many businesses care to make us feel special.

Nov 21, 2022 08:29 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Marte- love this post. There have been times when I wanted to provide feedback in the area provided but because there was not an avenue to say what I really wanted to say. 

Nov 18, 2022 07:27 PM
Marte Cliff

Kathy - it makes me think they don't want to hear anything negative. A shame, because that's how they could learn to improve.

Nov 21, 2022 08:30 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. You are spot on!! I quickly peruse a questionnaire and decide if it is worth filling out. For me, most of them are just smoke screen. Enjoy your day.

Nov 19, 2022 04:25 AM
Marte Cliff

Wayne - yes, as in "I'm pretending to care what you think."

Nov 21, 2022 08:30 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Marte - everyone should be asking for honest feedback.  And some don't like it when it is received.  Who to you fix things and gain trust? You can't.

Nov 19, 2022 04:58 AM
Marte Cliff

Grant - negative feedback is hard to take, but it is probably more beneficial than hearing how great you are.

Nov 21, 2022 08:31 PM
Brian DeYoung
also affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Heritage Realty - Ithaca, NY
The Realtor with personal investment background

Great example. I hope your new service comes to my town. Same story, horrible service, and they rarely supply the speed you pay for.

Good for us to ask for feedback also, and accept it when we receive it.

Nov 19, 2022 09:50 AM
Marte Cliff

Brian - go to Starlink and sign up! It took 18 months for us to get it - I think possibly because Covid interfered with the supply chain for parts. But paying your $100 deposit gets you on the list to be first in line.

Nov 21, 2022 08:33 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Nov 19, 2022 05:53 PM
Marte Cliff

Thank you so much Kathy!

Nov 21, 2022 08:33 PM
Fred Sweezer Sr. CMI, LLC.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
HUD 203k Consultant

Thanks for your post, as wide spread of internet choices are in my the area I live in, it is getting that way here, feed back is important and thanks for reminding us of it importance in our situation.

Nov 19, 2022 11:37 PM
Marte Cliff

Have you ever noticed that services connected to communication are the most difficult to communicate with? And have you noticed that the bigger these companies get, the less they care about what consumers think?

Nov 21, 2022 08:34 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

A good aspect of suburban living is that there are plenty of choices of excellent internet service.

As for is important. We always ask for feedback from our clients and we appreciate the feedback.

Nov 20, 2022 08:01 AM
Marte Cliff

Good for you John. Asking is the best way to learn what people like and don't like about your service.

Nov 21, 2022 08:35 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I get so many feedback emails, it's annoying.  Seems like any time I pay something online, or sign up for anything at all, I get that email.  Not once, but several times.  Even my Continuing Education courses for Hawaii Broker had me fill out a feedback section for each of the many courses or they wouldn't have credited me taking the course.  What would I have said? " It took me 5 hours instead of the 3 it should have to get a course done? " Or AT&T with whom I have been for many years; if I weren't happy I would have left long ago.  But "excellent" happy? I don't know.  Just don't want to go through the hassle of changing.  

Nov 20, 2022 12:11 PM
Marte Cliff

Hella - I know, I get asked to review products all the time. Usually I delete the emails.

However, if AT&T wrote me, they'd get an earful back! We had our Direct TV through them and cancelled it after we got Starlink. That was in September - and they are STILL emailing bills. My attempts to contact them have been in vain - both via phone and email.

Nov 21, 2022 08:39 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Marte, for sharing this experience.

Have an outstanding week.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2022 08:07 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Loved your post Marte!  In todays digital age, it's no wonder you switched.  Surely they get it!  Appreciate your link for the letters.  I used to write letters and include a form for feedback.  But now I just send them Google Review links.  They are easy, but there are still those folks that don't want to create a Google account, etc., so I'll mail those letters to those clients.  Excellent advice!

Nov 24, 2022 07:11 AM
Marte Cliff

I'm glad you can use the form, Jan.

Dec 03, 2022 12:50 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Wow Marte Cliff ... this post was spot on!  I have always made it a practice to send a Feedback Letter to every client and to be honest, most of the clients respond!  Some don't because that's just who they are.  But I have them every opportunity to say good and bad -- or indifferent.  That's how I grow!  Thank you for this well written blog!  Wishing you great continued success in all you do!

Nov 29, 2022 01:23 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Diana. Back when we were sending that form, we got some interesting answers. One man wrote to one of  my agents saying she could have married him. Another wrote that we could have paid for his airfare to come here hunting for a house.

Dec 03, 2022 12:51 PM