Three clever questions to ask your clients

Most of us have answered customer surveys and wished we could rewrite the questions instead of choosing from the pre-written options. By learning to ask your clients questions that go beyond the typical “check the box” customer feedback survey, you can improve your service levels far more strategically, and boost your client loyalty while you’re at it.

Here are three questions companies often ask in customer service surveys, and some clever alternatives:

Question: How can we do better?
Clever version:
 Tell us about the best customer service experience you’ve ever had.

Remember that vague questions generally result in vague answers. Try to get precise details from your clients about what matters to them. This question is also a clever way of collecting some ideas to try to wow your clients in future.

Question: Rate your experience with us from 1 to 5, with 1 being very unsatisfied and 5 being extremely satisfied.
Clever version: 
Please tell us about:

One thing our team has done recently that exceeded your expectations.
One thing we could have done better, and your suggestions on how.

It doesn’t help you to know that your client was very unsatisfied or extremely satisfied with your service if you don’t understand the reasons behind the responses. Instead, try to collect specific details to allow you to identify your problem areas (e.g. if multiple clients say your services are too expensive) and see what stands out to clients and what they value (e.g. if multiple clients comment about how your team always sticks to deadlines).

Question: Would you recommend our product or service?
Clever version:
 Would you be willing to refer us? Please explain why or why not.

Go beyond getting your clients to agree that they might consider recommending your services – the next step is to get them to stake their reputation on you by giving you a personal referral. It’s even better if you can understand the reasons behind why they’re willing (or not willing) to do that.

You can even go beyond this question by following up with an additional point along the lines of, “Referrals are one of the most effective ways we build our business. If you answered yes above, would you mind if we contact you for a possible referral?” This guarantees you a further interaction with your client, and helps you to generate new business leads.


This article appeared on The Marketing Site

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