Your customers can be a marvellous resource in more ways than one. They can bring you referrals, help you understand the marketplace and, most importantly, they can tell you what you’re doing right and wrong. In other words, they can help you expand your business in a number of ways. The trick is to utilise customers as a resource by asking the right customer service questions both before and after the sale.
Quality information comes from asking the right questions.
It’s very easy to ask standard customer service questions and end up with standardised answers. Don’t simply ask a customer, ” How are we doing?” It’s too general and encourages a vague answer. People often ask customers questions that are almost as vague like, ” Are you satisfied with our service?” This is not a bad question and may even appropriate under certain circumstances, but it doesn’t deliver information that is actionable long-term.
Questions should be specific
Questions should be specific such as, ” What is the one thing we haven’t done that you would like us to do?” The right question is one that encourages the customer to think. It is open ended and it doesn’t try to lead the customer to a specific answer. Leading questions are common, whether in surveys or person to person. People tend to want specific answers either because they believe in what they’re doing and think they’re doing it right, or they’re looking for specific answers for metrics reasons. But, you can learn a lot more with a gentle open question.
Questions should lead to revelations
Ask questions that reveal details that you might not know are there. This may seem impossible to do, but it’s not really all that difficult. It starts by being willing to listen. The more you are willing to listen for details, the more details you will find in any conversation. And so, a single question is usually not enough. Look for what the customer is actually saying, rather than what you think the customers said. Ask questions that are related to the previous answers, in this way you can drill down to get to specifics that aren’t readily apparent. But always stay courteous and friendly, never let the customer feel they’re being interrogated.
Customer service will only be as good as you are knowledgeable about your customer base. That knowledge can come from many directions and from many sources. You can use surveys, emails and online chats. There is social media and person to person customer relations. Whatever path you choose, always be willing to listen and ask questions that reveal details. Questions concerning who did what, where something happened, what happened and why it happened are all viable ways of gathering the kind of details you’ll need to perform an excellent customer service.