There is a book called The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld that discusses how all customer satisfaction can be boiled down to one question: How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague? Using the data received from a survey of your customers a metric called the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is created, measuring your customer satisfaction.  This book was a hit last year, and I even saw the NPS formula used in a kickoff presentation last week.

I spent the day yesterday on the road, and had an interesting conversation when I returned my rental car.  Interesting only because I have never been asked the following question before, the topic was fresh on my mind because I had just been re-introduced to an executive discussing NPS, and customer service is one of the key delivery components in everything that I aspire to do in my work.  If you’re not happy, I’m not happy.

my bank sucks, by B Rosen

I dropped off the car, was promptly greeted by an attendant who quickly checked me out and handed me a receipt.  When I boarded the bus to head to the terminal, the driver asked me a magical question that I have never been asked by a rental car company before—“Is there anything we could have done better?”

Granted, this is not the same question that is used to track NPS, yet it is an empowering question—empowering to the customer to provide feedback on a service that he will most likely have an opportunity to use again.  I got the sense that this particular institution rewarded employees when they could identify a potential customer satisfaction or service improvement issue and take ownership to resolve the issue.

As a consultant, I realize that my name is my brand, and my service delivery is my brand reputation.  As security professionals, we should treat this notion no differently.  I’m a proponent of information security as a customer service initiative, and what better way to demonstrate it than by asking internal customers if there was anything you could have done better?  Every piece of feedback is an opportunity to materially change how your organization sees you personally, and the security function of your company.  Anything you can do to encourage the business to come to you first will save you thousands (if not millions) of dollars and man hours down the road.

Give it a try for a month.  After every interaction or project with an internal customer, simply ask them if there was anything you could have done to make the interaction or delivery of service better.  Take ownership of any issues discovered, and funnel them up (with resolutions) to your management.  Track your work, and keep a log of the people you worked with to improve your overall service delivery.  Not only will that make you more valuable as an employee, but it will overall improve the quality of service provided by your organization, thus further removing roadblocks (perceived or otherwise) to ensuring security is included early in the process of business growth.

How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?

This post originally appeared on BrandenWilliams.com.