There may be no better source of finding out what will help you grow your business than your existing customers. Those who do business with you have a keen understanding of what works and what maybe doesn’t work so well.
Here are seven things you should ask your customers about immediately. Even though many will give you feedback without anything in return, you can use the opportunity to thank them by providing a discount, special offer or other small token of appreciation.
You can use a simple email form, website form or survey software to gather your information. Just make sure you review the results and act on the feedback afterwards!
1. Why do you shop or work with us?
You may think you know what your competitive advantages are and why your customers and clients choose your company over competitors, but perhaps they know a strength you are not emphasizing or they may highlight an employee you may not realize is a gem. Give them a blank to put in their answer and also have them choose key adjectives from a list that fits their “why” – such as convenience, customer service, high quality products, etc.
2. What do we do well?
This is another way of asking about strengths, but it also makes sure you double down on the reasons why your customers choose you.
3. What do you wish that we did differently or better?
This one is self-explanatory but extremely important. This will help identify deficiencies in your staff, operations and product/service offerings. It will not only ensure that you know where to focus to keep your existing customers, but it can provide ideas on what else you can do to make those customers buy more often.
While you can look at your sales reports to figure out what products and services are most popular, this question helps you identify if there are certain products/services that are cornerstones to your business. This may include ones that aren’t bought as frequently, but are critical keep your customers happy, as well as products/services that could be expanded or highlighted to gain more business.
5. What products and services do you wish we had?
By asking existing customers what else they want to buy from you, you have a built-in focus group. Keep track and alert those customers when you do add those products/services to your offering to target those who you know already desire that product/service.
6. How likely is it that you would recommend our company or brand to a friend or colleague?
This is a question that is asked on a scale of 0-10 (10 being the best) and makes up something called the Net Promoter Score. It’s a simplistic but widely-accepted method for determining customer loyalty. Per the Net Promoter Network, those who are 9s or 10s are loyal enthusiasts who will refer others. 7s or 8s are satisfied but not enthusiastic and are vulnerable to competitive offers; and 0s up through 6s are unhappy and can damage your brand via negative word of mouth. This gives you an opportunity to double down with your best customers and step it up with those who are vulnerable, including assuaging those who are not happy.
7. Will you recommend us/refer us/give us a testimonial?
Finally, having a concrete referral program or testimonial program allows you to specifically ask your customers to help get you more business. If you don’t ask, someone else will!
About Carol Roth
Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, “recovering” investment banker, billion-dollar dealmaker, investor, entrepreneur, national media personality and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett-produced technology competition show, America’s Greatest Makers and TV host and contributor, including host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. She is also an advisor to companies ranging from startups to major multi-national corporations and has an action figure made in her own likeness.
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