“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions.” – Dr. John Demartini
If you want to improve the quality of your life, ask yourself better questions. If you want to take your marriage and relationships to the next level, ask questions that bring you and your loved ones closer. If you want your business to thrive, ask intelligent questions.
Mediocre questions yield mediocre results.
Good questions yield good information.
Great questions yield remarkable results.
We all know how important it is to master the fundamentals, yet we often focus on other things that get us through the day. Knowing your ideal customers is critical. Positioning your business strategically is essential. Getting referrals and building strong joint venture partnerships is key.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve consulted with small business owners who couldn’t articulate their advantage in the marketplace. We first had to go out and gather feedback from some of their most loyal and happy customers to nail their competitive advantage.
Yes, often times its as easy as that and yet, so many businesses fail to ask their customers for valuable feedback.
Before I share with you the five questions that I suggest you start asking your customers, I’d like to point out the following:
===> Customers value being asked for their opinion. They enjoy being asked what they think.
Therefore make it a habit (or a ritual) to survey a couple of your customers every single month. The rewards of this approach will be especially apparent as you acquire more of your ideal clients and your business grows.
Obviously, you can also use the insights provided to create more relevant products and services for your target audience.
Ask Your Customers for Feedback
1. Why did you pick our services? Why did you purchase our products in the first place?
WHY-questions are very powerful.
Yes, this is a rather “open” question that allows your customers to tell the story behind their buying decision.
Listen closely to the words your customers are using when describing your products / services and more importantly, the reasons why they decided to trust you with their business.
Don’t let your customers get away with a general answer. Ask additional questions such as “How did you feel when you purchased our products?”
Don’t be afraid to dig deeper. Remember, emotions influence what we buy. Seldom will you find buying decisions to be rational, disciplined, and process-based.
People buy based on emotions and then justify their decision based on logic.
2. What’s one word you use to describe us (our business, products, or services)?
This one is a trick question because it requires a faster response.
Most of your customers will throw in several words and phrases. Wait, listen and once they’re done listing the words that come to mind, make them pick one. Just one word.
Are people struggling to pick one word to describe what it is that you do? Does the same word come up over and over again?
These are tremendous insights for a future positioning strategy and marketing message.
3. Tell us about your favorite service experience you’ve had with us: How have we exceeded your expectations?
This question will force your customers to deliver concrete examples thus allowing you to discover specific features and benefits about your business that you can use as a differentiating factor.
As you might have noticed, the questions build on each other. They are carefully picked to help you get the most out of your next feedback session.
4. What’s one thing you wish you would have known from / about us when you first purchased our products / services?
This is great info you can use to pimp your products and services to better appeal to your ideal audience.
It’s kind of asking for reviews from your happy customers who are eager to help you include what’s missing or improve what’s already available.
You don’t need to be a corporate and spend tons on market research. Ask this simple but powerful question and quench your thirst for continued improvement.
5. When was the last time you referred us to others, and why did you do it?
“Referrals are the best type of customers you can get. They spend more both in the short and long run and are more loyal than the normal customer.” – Dan Kennedy
Are you looking to increase sales?
Do whatever it takes to get more word-of-mouth referrals.
According to the “2014 State of Independence in America Report” from MBO Partners, word-of-mouth referrals are the most important source of work for small businesses. It’s also one of those marketing assets a lot of entrepreneurs fail to capitalize on.
Use the answers provided to this question to get more word-of-mouth referrals and grow your business.
Wrapping It Up
Successful businesses know their customers. They understand their problems, frustrations, wants and needs, and are able to deliver outstanding products and services that meet, or better, exceed customer expectations.
Pick up the phone and talk to your customers. Invite your best customers to lunch or dinner. Nurture your most important relationships in a meaningful way.
What else would you ask your customers? How do you make customers fall in love with your business?