Often the reasons people buy from us are different to the reasons we think they buy from us. If we get clarity around our customers buying triggers, we can focus our marketing, advertising and communication with much better results. We move from a scatter gun and wishful marketing approach to being much more strategic.
The problem is that very few businesses actually take the time to ask their customers why they buy from their business instead of a competitor. Business owners often feel that it is somehow invasive or awkward to ask a question like this, but nothing is further from the truth.
Most customers are actually very happy to have a business owner take the time to ask them for some feedback. It shows that their opinion is valued and a valued customer is one that will be much more loyal than one that is taken for granted.
A great tip is to give a small gift of some sort for someone who gives you feedback. Don't offer a gift first and then ask for feedback as people tend to feel obligated to give you positive feedback that they think you want to hear as opposed to information that you need to hear (this point applies to customer satisfaction surveys as much as general information gathering).
Personally I would rather focus questions around one central theme at a time and the place to start is finding out why people buy your products and services. Once you have this information, adjust all of your messaging to drive these points home. Keep asking this question on a regular basis, because over time, the reason why people are buying from a business may change and the more current this information and feedback is, the more we can use it.