10 Questions You Better Ask Your Customer

[NEW! Join this FREE mailing list, and receive DAILY customer service tips DIRECT to your inbox!]

[UPDATE: here is my latest post on the topic, 33 Questions To Ask Your Customer]

Have you noticed that some businesses need reminding that marketing is the art and science of getting and KEEPING profitable customers?

They always seem to forget the “keeping” part…

We are always reminded that getting new business from existing clients is less expensive than finding new customers.

In a blog post from the other day, I suggested a tactic one could do right away to kick off your 2009 marketing – mailing a survey to your existing customers. I want to expand on that idea here.

The survey piece could come in many forms, whether it is a comprehensive survey form that is completed and mailed back, a simple letter inviting responses via email, questions that are answered via the phone, or an online survey. Whatever the format, demonstrating that you care about your customer’s inputs is important – whether they take you up on it or not. But you know as well as I that a dialog generated by the mailer can ultimately lead to new business.

Here are some questions to include in your survey:
1. Ask how their business is going. Show that you care.

2. Find out what their biggest problem is. Identify what is holding them back most.

3. Since they are an existing customer, they have purchased from you. Sincerely ask if your product or service is benefiting them.

4. If your product or service isn’t living up to their expectations, find out how it is falling short (and do something about it).

5. Ask for new ways to improve your customer service. Things like response time, tech support, billing, front desk etiquette, etc.

6. Ask if there are other products or services on the market that intrigue them.

7. Does our product or service fit comfortably into next year’s plans? How can we modify it to continue serving you well?

8. Share ideas on ways to improve on our products or services. Use these answers to identify new ways to cross-sell and develop new offerings.

9. Suggest ways we can improve our communication flow. Blog? E-zines? Monthly reports via mail or email? Other social media tools?

Finally, ask for time to discuss these issues with your customer. Use this time to serve and provide solutions.

At the end of the day, this exercise of reaching out to your customers is just great customer service – service being the key word here. If you take great pains to SERVE your client, they will always be appreciative. And you will find that even if they are not pleased with a particular application of your product or service, the act of understanding how you can IMPROVE that customer experience will go a long way towards them remaining as your customer.

Customer satisfaction isn’t enough anymore. Customer DELIGHT is. And this tactic can help you begin to achieve that. Let me know of other ways you have achieved the same, or other questions to ask of your customer!

[NEW! Join this FREE mailing list, and receive DAILY customer service tips DIRECT to your inbox!]