John’s example focused on referrals. If you’re a business of any size and are contacted by someone who was referred to you by another, make sure you follow-up with the person who did the original referring and ask “why.” Finding out why they referred you in the first place will give you great insight into what you’re doing well, and what you might want to do more of.
The same applies to just about any customer feedback situation. For example, don’t just ask your customers if they’re satisfied with your service. Many companies collect some type of customer satisfaction rating, which is only helpful and directional if you know why those customers are (or are not) satisfied.
Knowing “why” gives you the tools you need to START and STOP doing activities that will accelerate your growth, not to mention satisfaction and referrals from even more customers.