In General

How well do you really know your customers? Could you know them better? There are a variety of ways to get more information on your customers. Some companies invest in focus groups, gather data and analyze behaviors. However, it can be much simpler than that. Customers have all the answers you need to improve your business practices, you just need to ask the right questions.

Here are five questions we think every business should be asking customers to get to know them better.

1) “How are we doing?” and “Why?

A simple enough question, right? The answer to this question can reveal so much. Do your customers like working with you? Are they happy, frustrated or satisfied? Don’t stop with this question. No matter the answer, it must be followed-up with the question “Why?”.

“Fine”, “Excellent”, “Not so good” … these answers are only the beginning. If you hope to replicate the “excellent” job, avoid being viewed as “not so good”, or understand what “fine” actually means, you’ll need to dig deeper. The answer to your “why” question will help you uncover why each customer answered the way they did.

2) “What could we be doing better?

You might be doing “great” but there’s always room for improvement. Understanding what your customer really needs doesn’t’ have to be a guessing game. Your customer can reveal exactly what you could be doing to improve their experience.

3) “What changes can we make to keep you as a loyal customer?

This is a great question to ask customers who may be thinking of leaving. Ask this question to get insight into what needs you’re not meeting. Now you have an opportunity to make necessary changes to keep the customer, and potentially many more you didn’t even know where unhappy.

4) “What would you think about….?

When considering making a change, like adding features, ask your customers for their input. Their answer could reveal issues you never considered, provide insight into whether or not this change will be welcomed with open arms and let your customers know you care about their opinions.

5) “What else should we be asking?

Are you even asking your customers the right questions? Did you know 96% of unhappy customers won’t complain, but they will tell 15 friends! If customers wont complain when unhappy, you can bet they won’t approach you with answers to questions you haven’t asked. Customers know themselves better than you do. Ask them what questions they think your business should be asking!

Knowing customers is imperative to every business. Pay attention to customer habits, ask lots of questions and implement changes based on what you’ve uncovered. This should be an ongoing effort.

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