Happy customers are the key to any successful business. Ensuring a great customer experience requires sales and customer service teams to speak with customers and find out how they feel. However, your team must know the right questions to ask to gain truly valuable insights from customer conversations.
Below, a group of entrepreneurs shared eight smart questions sales and customer service reps should be asking their company's customers. Here's what to ask and the potential impact the answer could have on your business's growth.
How did that make you feel?
Asking a customer or prospect how a situation made them feel can help you get to the root of their issue, says Drew Gurley, partner and EVP at Redbird Advisors.
"Not only does it avoid the killing 'yes' or 'no' response, but it also empowers your customer or prospect to let their guard down because you care about their feelings," Gurley adds. "It's amazing how much someone will tell you if you just ask and listen."
What haven't I asked you yet?
Christopher Tarantino, CEO and founder of Epicenter Innovation, recommends asking someone if there are any questions you should have asked but haven't yet.
"It forces the person to think about the conversation from your perspective and dig deeper into the needs of the relationship, task, project, sales conversation, etc.," says Tarantino. "The key to using this question is to pause and really listen to the answer."
What additional products would you like to see?
According to Shu Saito, CEO of Godai Soaps, asking this question is akin to conducting free market research with your exact target audience.
"Take a cue from their answers to see what products they value the most and how you can keep them coming back to your company," Saito says. "You'll have targeted information to realign your marketing strategy."
Did I resolve your issue?
Asking whether you've resolved the customer's issue is a clarification that will ensure the customer leaves the conversation happily.
"It is a reminder of the reason why they called and how you came to a resolution," explains Daisy Jing, founder of Banish. "It makes them feel heard and cared for, knowing that you aren't in a hurry and you are sincerely there for the customer. Also, this will give them a chance to share more issues they still have, if any."
What should we never stop doing?
With so much emphasis in business placed on evolving and achieving the "next big thing," it's easy to overlook what attracted your customers to you in the first place. That's why Blair Thomas, co-founder of eMerchantBroker, believes sales and customer service reps should ask, "What's the one thing we should never stop doing?"
"Find out what your customers really value about your company," Thomas says.
How can we improve our strategy?
Stephanie Wells, co-founder and CTO of Formidable Forms, advises asking customers how satisfied they are with your products and services. This question offers direct feedback on how to improve your strategy.
"In the customer's words, you can get a clear picture of what your company lacks and how to fix it for better results," Wells says.
Would you buy from us again?
Sometimes, a simple "yes or no" question about whether a customer would patronize your business again can yield deep insights.
"The answer will tell you a lot about the customer's experience with your business, whether or not your product is meeting expectations and if a customer is able to repurchase your product or service," says Salvador Ordorica, CEO of The Spanish Group LLC
Would you recommend us to a friend?
According to Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner, asking a customer whether they'd recommend you is a powerful question because "a person has to really like a company or product to talk about it to their friends."
"Once you pose this question, you'll get feedback that can help you improve," adds Balkhi. "You can follow this up by making a request for customers to share your site or product on social media and build your online presence."