10 ‘Dramatically Different’ Questions To Help Create Dialogue With Your Customers

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Lots of businesses invest a lot of time, money and effort in getting customer feedback. I also think that lots of businesses waste lots of time, money and effort in getting customer feedback. Why? They ask the wrong questions, they ask lots of questions, but don’t actually listen, or they listen to the answers and then do nothing about what they hear!

I’m all for getting customer feedback – it’s a great source of ideas, opportunities, improvements, and it demonstrates to your customers you care (provided of course you do listen and then take action!). 3D Businesses create ‘Dialogue, Not Diatribes’ with their customers – it’s a key ingredient of Characteristic #4 Forget CRM, Think MCR! Maximise Customer Relationships!

Unfortunately, too many businesses simply get boxes ticked, ‘go through the motions’, and ask questions that don’t make them too uncomfortable. So, just to get you thinking, here are 10 questions you might want to consider asking your customers to create some ‘Dialogue’.

These questions are not the ‘traditional’ customer feedback questions that typically get asked, and I’m not suggesting that you ask them all to all of your customers. They are a bit different, and their aim is to get conversations going, challenge the status quo and help you develop and reinforce your Dramatic Difference’! They may also help you improve your performance, attitude and relationships (no guarantees though!).

1. What attracted you to us originally?

This helps get a view of how you are seen in the market place and what are the things that appeal to your customers – it might confirm or reveal your Dramatic Difference’!

2. What would you do if we weren’t here?

This may give an insight into the value they place on you as a supplier – Would they actually notice?

3. Can you name one particular individual who has impressed you in our business?

This highlights your customer champions, and maybe some of your ‘unsung heroes’. If they can’t name anyone, what does that say about the way your people interact with your customers?

4. What one thing could we do better?

Just one thing – it may highlight their priorities and key issues to help identify and develop that ‘Dramatic Difference!

5. Why do you buy from us?

This highlights your strengths and your ‘Dramatic Difference’ – some elements of which, you may not be aware of. (Be careful how you phrase this one! You might sound as if you’re doubting yourselves if you say it wrong!)

6. What one thing do we do or don’t do that irritates or annoys you?

This one speaks for itself! The key is doing something about it!

7. What would you say to someone else who asked you about us?

Their initial response to this is often a revealing one! It helps hilight how you are perceived by your customers (Remember, ‘perception is reality’!)

8. What is the one thing we should never stop doing?

This one tells you what they really value about you!

9. Are you ‘completely’ happy with us / what we’re doing?

It can only be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It’s a brave question, but it stops us rationalising away when people score us a 7 or 8 when we ask them to rate us out of 10. The obvious follow up question is …

10. Why / Why not?

You may feel you can’t ask these questions to your customers. That’s not a problem, but why not find some questions that you can ask?

So, go on, ask some questions, listen to the responses and do something as a result. What have you got to lose?

And here’s a question for you…

Have you got any other questions that work for you?

Let us know below!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.

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